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Welcome to the twenty-first century where we use the Internet, rather than books, to do our research. But alas, not all Internet sources are reliable. This is very unfortunate because it makes our lives as students more difficult. But, once you figure out how to use the different Gleeson Library databases and where to go, your research will become as easy as if you’re using Wikipedia as a source.

First is first — you have to get to the library website. You can do this by signing into USFconnect and clicking on the “Libraries” link on the left side of the page, in the white box with green font. Or, you can search “Gleeson Library” in Google. Your other option to access the library website is to click on the link on the USF homepage.

You are now at the library website, and can do one of two things: You can either immediately search for an article under “Fusion,” or you can click on “Databases.”

Gleeson has about 200 databases for you to choose from, and each database has an assortment of articles for your research needs. Ironically, this caused a problem for students, because they couldn’t decide which one to use. Therefore, Gleeson created Fusion as of fall 2011.

If you want to use Fusion, all you have to do is use the large search box in the middle of the page. You will then get a list of results. Keep in mind that if you searched the title of a book/eBook/movie/game in the Fusion box, you also get results from the Gleeson catalog. This means that your first few choices will be the copies of whatever the library has — and then you will get the results for various articles on different databases.

If you look at the individual databases, they are more focused on their specific subjects (such as Biology or Literature) and have more specialized search features. Therefore, you can get fewer results when you use the individual databases, but they are more specific.

Your other option is to click on “Databases” on the right hand of the main library page. You should use this method if your search is very specific or if you are searching under a specific subject (such as Literature or Biology). Then, you click on one of the headings under “Multidisciplinary”, by “Subject”, or by “A to Z”.

And that’s it — it’s almost as easy as Wikipedia once you get the hang of it, and now you have hundreds of articles to sift through rather than having to look through dusty research books.

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