We put together a brief introduction to the most important points below.
For more in-depth support, please refer to the online portal LOTSE ("Library Online Tour and Self Paced Education", only available in German).

How to search for literature – first steps

You already have a specific query in mind but you cannot find any literature? Try using individual keywords from your search query, or use synonyms and related terms.

Do not make your initial search too specific. Start with a more general term and make your way to your topic from there, e.g. by using filters or limiting the search. Use "wildcards" to make sure your search results also include other prefixes or word endings, i.e. enter communicat? to cover communicative as well as communication.

You will find help pages and tips on how to improve research results in every catalogue and data base. Use these to find out more about the various possible settings for your search: Can you do an approximate search? Which wildcards are used on this page – a question mark or an asterisk?

These little tricks will probably help to improve your search results.
Please remember to document your search so you can retrace how you came up with your results if necessary.

When to search for literature – start early on

As items may not always be available, start your search as early as possible. It may be necessary to reserve media or order them as inter-library loans, which could take several days or even weeks.

Searching for literature is the first step of all academic endeavour. However, there may not always be literature for every topic. Your task, therefore, consists of scanning through the texts at hand to determine whether they can be of use to you. Make sure you plan sufficient time for this.

Where to search for literature – the Campus Library's catalogue is just the beginning

You can search almost anywhere:

Please note:

  • Document your search to be able to retrace it.
  • Check online sources for their credibility and ensure they are appropriate reference for academic papers.

Where to get literature – use all possibilities

In order to access the literature you have found as quickly as possible, stick to the following order:

  • Catalogue of the ZHB: these items are available on campus or you can reserve them.
  • Catalogues from other libraries in Flensburg: these items are available not far from the campus and often you can look at them without having a library card from the library in question.
  • Common Library Network (GBV) and nationwide inter-library services (VFL):
    Media available from the Common Library Network will be displayed here. If there are no results for your query, a link to the VFL will be provided. Please note that not all media is available for inter-library loan. More information on inter-library loans.

Tips and tricks for your research

Searching for articles

Articles are published in books, journals and newspapers. Usually, individual articles are not listed in the campus library's cataogue. This means that you have to search for the book or the journal in which the article you are looking for was published. In most cases, searching for the title or the author of the article will not lead to any hits. However, this is different when you are searching in the GVK catalogue or in data bases.

Example for how to cite an article as a source

Bengtsson, Stephanie: Education and gender

In: International Review of Education, Vol. 61.2015, 6, pp 857–859

This article was published in the journal "International Review of Education" namely in volume 61 published in 2015. The article can be found in issue no. 6 on pages 857–859. You will not find this information if you search the Campus Library's catalogue for the article. Nevertheless, the journal that includes this article is available in the Campus Library.

If you are not searching for a specific article but for articles on a certain topic in general, start a thematic search and use bibliographies, subject-specific portals and data bases.

Searching for journals

Are you searching for an article that was published in a journal? Then please continue reading here.

Journals on a specific topic can be found in library catalogues, the Electronic Journals Library (EZB) or in the Germany-wide Journals Data Base (ZDB). Search for a specific topic or check the list of subjects. You can also restrict the hits to journals only.

Please also use the overview of the Campus Library’s current subscriptions of print journals.

Make a note of the 8-digit ISSN number of the journal in question. This will make your next search easier and more accurate. This means next time you won’t have to search for "Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie" but for "1664-2910" or "1010-0652" instead. Remember to adjust your search category accordingly (in the Campus Library's catalogue click on "NUM" for numbers).

Searching for degree theses (such as doctoral or bachelor’s theses)

As degree theses provide an in-depth analysis of a specific topic, they can help you to gather valuable information for your own academic paper. Find out whether there are degree theses available on your topic that may provide further insights into the topic.

In general, it is relatively easy to obtain:

  • doctoral theses (theses written to achieve a doctorate)
  • habilitations (theses written to gain qualification as a university teacher)

The following are usually not published:

  • undergraduate and graduate degree theses (master’s, bachelor’s, diploma and state exam theses)
    Undergraduate theses are usually stored only in the faculties, more rarely in libraries. They are generally not available for loan and can only be read where they are stored.

You can find more in-depth information on how to carry out research here [in German only].

Searching for audio-visual media (including CDs and DVDs)

The Campus Library has a growing number of audio-visual media such as CDs and DVDs available for loan.
As audio-visual media are only available upon request, you need to know how to search for them:

Searching for visual media (movies etc.)

Open the advanced search in the catalogue and under "material selection" ONLY tick the box "audio visual".

Enter a search term such as the name of an actor or a keyword from the title (e.g. "Harry Potter" or "fairy-tale").

For a complete list of all visual media, enter the search term "mak b?" in the search field.

Searching for audio media (music CDs, audio books, etc.):

Open the advanced search in the catalogue and under "material selection" ONLY tick the box "Sound".

Enter a search term such as the name of a composer ("Ravel") or a keyword from the title ("Bolero"). For a complete list of all audio media, enter the search term "mak g?" in the search field.

Searching for e-books

If you are looking for an overview of our e-book collection, proceed as follows:

Open the advanced search in the catalogue and under "material selection" ONLY tick the box "online resources (without periodicals)".

Enter a search term such as the name of an author or a keyword from the title (e.g. "inclusion").

For a complete list of all e-books, enter the search term "mak Oa?" in the search field.

You can narrow down the results of your search by material type (e.g. e-books) later on, too. In the Campus Library's catalogue, you can find this filter function in the menu bar on the left hand side as soon as the results of a search are displayed.

You can find further e-books as a part of data bases or as freely accessible Open Access resources.