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The Research Process

New to college research? This guide gives you an overview of how to get started.

Find Resources Online

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Library Databases:

Search for resources such as scholarly articles, journals, e-books, news articles, and much more by using research databases purchased by the Library.

You can search databases individually by choosing from the drop-down list below, or you can use Summon to search many databases all at once.

Summon Search

Advanced Search Options  |  Summon Help

More Options for Searching:

Video: Starting Your Search in the Right Place

This video from UNC Libraries does a great job of explaining the differences between starting your research on the Internet and starting with library databases.

Search the Library Catalog

Search the library catalog to find books and other materials located at PCC Library.


Library Lingo

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Database: An online collection of journals, newspapers, e-books, or other types of information sources. Databases are organized so that users can easily search and access their content.  

Scholarly Article: A single piece of writing that is written by one or more experts in an academic or professional field. Scholarly articles might share the results of research or experimentation (a study), analyze what's been written on a particular subject (a literature review), or comment on a work of literature or art (a criticism).

Journal: A published collection of articles that are usually related to one subject area. Journals are published on a regular, ongoing basis.

Periodical: A publication published at regular intervals (periodically) such as newspapers, magazines, and journals.

Peer Review: The process used to make sure the research in a scholarly article is accurate before it is published. When an author submits an article to a peer-reviewed journal, it is sent to other experts in the same field (peers) to be reviewed. Those experts check to make sure the article contains reliable information, after which it can be published.


More information . . .


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Have any questions?  Ask a librarian!

Off-Campus Access

Paw: Indicates that a password is needed to access the resource from off campus.The username and password to access databases from off campus are similar to what you use to access the PCC portal (myPittCC) and Moodle. The only difference is that you DO NOT include the last part of your email address ( in the username. Generic logins are available to community residents with PCC library cards, and others who are enrolled in or are affiliated with PCC programs and continuing education courses. Have questions? Ask us!