Dorset College Library is a reference library and is open to all Dorset students and instructors.
Our ambition is the continuous improvement and development of our facilities and services in order to meet the various information needs of the library users.
Our mission is to enrich the educational experience of Dorset College students by providing access to information relevant to the academic programs offered by the college along with a quiet study space.
For students and instructors, the library and librarian constitute an academic resource for qualified information seeking. The library is meant to be utilized for research and study.
Dorset College Library provides various resources, among them: reference materials (encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, etc.), books (textbooks, fiction, non-fiction), periodicals or serials (magazines), free access online resources.
Monday - Friday 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
The library is closed on holidays and during semester breaks.
What is a Research Paper?
A research assignment or a research paper begins with a “research question” – a question about a particular subject matter that a student wants to investigate and answer. To do good research students need to locate and properly use good sources.
Before you start researching try to make a research plan . The following six-step research plan will help you to decide how to use your time most effectively:
1. Locate and choose the sources available in a library
The Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) is the chief tool for finding resources in the library. A catalog can be searched by a keyword, author, title, and subject. All books in the library are cataloged according to the Library of Congress Classification System. To learn more about the Library of Congress please visit Library of Congress official website . Most academic libraries in North America use the LCC system . When you find the book you are looking for in the catalog, write down its Call Number (E.g. HD30.22 .B38 2005), and its location e.g. General Stacks or Reference.
A call number tells you where the book is located on the library shelves. Each book, periodical, journal, etc., has its own unique call number which is attached to the book's spine or bottom left hand corner of the cover. A book call number also appears in the catalogue entry in the library OPAC. The Library of Congress arranges materials by subject, or 'class'. The first section of the call number represents the subject of the book. The second section often represents the author's name, and the last section is the date of publication.
Reference materials – encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, atlases, maps, etc.
An excellent starting point is an encyclopedia, print or on-line. An encyclopedia print or electronic gives you background information about the subject, and a list of recommended books and articles for further reading.
Books – textbooks, manuals, fiction, non-fiction, etc.
Books give reliable, in-depth knowledge of a subject. Publication information such as date of publication, publisher, author, and editor are always clearly listed in print publications, which is very helpful for further citation of your research paper.
Periodicals/Serials – magazines, journals, newspapers, etc.
For more recent information and a greater selection of information it is always useful to refer to articles in periodicals. A large selection of periodicals may be found on the Internet.
Online Resources – online encyclopedias, databases, e-books, magazines, journals, dictionaries, etc.
The Internet is a source of information that easy to access and easy to search. However not all the information to be found on the Internet is reliable. You must be prepared to evaluate the sources you have chosen for your research.
Media – CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, Streamed Audio and Video, etc.
Libraries also have collections of materials in audio and visual formats.
Databases - digital collections of information on a particular subject.
Some databases provide just the title, author, and publication where you can find an article or other information. Other databases give this information and a summary of the article contents, or even the complete article. There are many online databases that provide full text articles, or abstracts. Most of these databases have restricted access to subscribers only. Since there are not many free online databases available on the Internet, your local public library may be of great help. Vancouver Public Library has a vast selection of online databases ( e.g. MasterFILE Premier Database ), which you can access using your library card.
2. Evaluate your sources
In order to evaluate your sources, you should ask yourself several questions:
3. Once you have chosen and evaluated your sources start taking notes
Write down information of the source you are taking notes from. You will need this information for your citations and references.
DOI - Digital Object Identifier - is a unique alphanumeric combination assigned to a particular electronic article in order to provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. It is recommended by the APA to indicate the DOI, when it is available, for both print and electronic sources. The DOI is typically located on the first page of the electronic journal article. DOIs are assigned to articles in scientific publications. The publisher has to be a participant of a registration agency such as CrossRef (http://www.crossref.org). A digital object identifier (DOI) can be used to cite and link to electronic documents. A DOI never changes, so you can use it to link permanently to electronic documents.
E.g. Electronic Journal Article with DOI:
Langhorne, P. (2011). Stroke rehabilitation. The Lancet, 377(9778), 1693-1702. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60325-5
Electronic Journal Article without a DOI:
Kelley, M. (2011, May 17). Design institute explores changing place of libraries. Library Journal. Retrieved from
4. Incorporate source information into your paper
There are three ways of incorporating source information into your own writing: summarize, paraphrase, and quote.
5. Document and cite
Documentation means acknowledging source material. Citation means a quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work. If you use another person’s words or ideas in your paper, you must provide information about the sources of those words or ideas. There are many different formal systems of documentation. The two most widely used in academic settings are MLA and APA. To avoid plagiarism you must always cite your sources in an approved documentation style. Plagiarism means copying or imitating the language, ideas, or thoughts of another author and representing them as one’s own original work.
6. Edit and format your paper
After you complete your research, writing, documentation and citation work, it is time format your paper. You should follow the exact formatting instructions given by your instructor. These instructions will likely include creating a title page, table of contents, providing page numbers, and spell check.
APA CITATION STYLE
Dorset College follows Style Guides for APA citation style contained in recent (post-2000) edition of: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Recent edition of this publication is available in the Dorset College Library.
In the academic environment, to document means to acknowledge sources, or give credit to authors. It also means to provide information about the location of the sources. There are several formats or styles of documentation: MLA style, APA style, Chicago style, etc. APA (American Psychological Association) style is the most commonly used format for manuscripts in the social sciences.
For in-text citations and references examples download the APA CITATION STYLE HANDOUT .
The Two-Part Principle of Documentation
Documentation styles vary in their details, but all styles require an academic researcher/writer to:
IN-TEXT CITATION (PARENTHETICAL REFERENCE): GENERAL GUIDELINES *
*The guidelines used in this presentation are based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, sixth ed.
REFERENCE LIST: GENERAL GUIDELINES
APA documentation style requires a list of references where readers can find complete bibliographical information about the sources referred to in your paper. The list of references should appear at the end of your paper, beginning on a new page entitled: References.
APA STYLE: PAPER FORMAT
The following guidelines will help you prepare your research paper in the format recommended by the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, sixth ed.
For full list of accepted abbreviations see APA Publication Manual, 6th ed., p.10.
There is plenty of information available on the Internet. Always remember to evaluate the sources before using the information you found. Below is a compilation of some educational web resources:
+ Databases, Directories, and more...
+ Journals and Encyclopedias
ONLINE JOURNAL DATABASES AND DIRECTORIES
+ E-Books and Dictionaries
ONLINE DICTIONARIES AND THESAURI
+ Learning Video Resources
ONLINE FREE COURSES, EDUCATIONAL VIDEO RESOURCES
Dorset College Library provides its patrons with a quiet space and environment for study and research. Students can use library computers for their research or bring their own laptops as there is wireless access in the library. College Librarian is available to assist students with their research and finding library resources. The sessions offered by the library are designed to introduce students to the academic library and cover the following topics:
In-library use of library materials is welcomed at all times. Reference materials including dictionaries and encyclopedias are for in-library use only. Although the Library is a Reference Library, students are allowed to borrow course material for their studies. To borrow an item from the library a student or instructor should always have it checked out at the librarian’s desk. All Dorset students must present their valid Dorset Student ID card. Before graduating from Dorset programs students must have their Library Clearance Form signed by the librarian and present the form to the Registrar. Students will not get their program credentials until they return all due library items and have the form signed.
The loan period should not exceed 3 weeks, after that the loan can be extended by 3 more weeks if the item was not put on hold by other student. A book can be borrowed for the period of one semester if there are enough copies available in the library. No more than 3 textbooks at a time could be borrowed by a person for the same period. Instructors can borrow library materials for the period of 1 semester.
Late fees ($1/day to a maximum of $10 per item) are charged on an overdue library material for every day that the item is overdue. Failure to return an overdue item and/or unpaid fines of $10 maximum will result in the deduction of the fine and the actual cost of the book from the student’s account balance for that semester. The student will not be allowed to register for the courses for the following semester until this fee remains outstanding. For more information see the Library User Manual available in the library.
Code of Conduct in the Library
In order to maintain a quiet, respectful environment, the students are asked to speak on their cell phones outside the Library.
No food or drink is allowed in the Library.
Print Materials and General Copyright Guidelines
Dorset College respects user and creator rights relating to the use of copyrighted materials, including the moral and economic rights of creators and content providers. Dorset College currently holds an Access Copyright license.
Access Copyright is a non-profit, national organization, representing tens of thousands of Canadian creators and publishers. Private academic institutions sign an agreement with Access Copyright and pay an annual fee that authorizes much of the photocopying which is required by students, faculty and staff and permits limited copying for personal use and for teaching and research purposes.
Copyright, including implied copyright, is held by the creator of a work, unless and until the creator signs the copyright over to another individual or body. In the case of published works, copyright is usually held by the publisher. No other individual may copy protected works without permission from the copyright holder, regardless of the use for which the copies are intended, except within the limitations permitted by the Access Copyright agreement.
All members of the Dorset College community are responsible for informing themselves about the parameters of both Canada's Copyright Act and Dorset’s Access Copyright agreement, and for ensuring that any copying they do in connection with their Dorset activities complies with these guidelines. The print and digital copying guidelines are posted above and/or adjacent to every photocopier. Visit the Access Copyright website for a complete listing of guidelines.
services and policy