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Distance Learners

This guide outlines library services and resources for distance learners at the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library



Why Not?

There are times when Google is a completely acceptable tool for finding information.  Google supports natural language and whole phrases search methods. The library's databases are cataloged and organized to support subject terms, synonyms and keywords for better results.

Librarians recommend using Google Scholar.


When to use Google/ the Open Web:

  • To explore an unfamiliar topic and find background information
  • To go to a specific website
  • To find current government forms and data
  • To find information about a unique or new topic
  • To find multimedia materials
  • To answer a quick question
  • To find information for personal use

When to use Library Databases:

  • To find Journal Articles
  • To find News Articles, both historical and current
  • To find scientific data, methods and protocols
  • To find in-depth factual information on complex topics
  • To find historic documents and archives for research

Note: When searching in Google Scholar, you may get full text articles but sometimes it requires a subscription.  Never purchase a subscription.  




The Library's Google Scholar is Credo Reference database.  

Find LBB Full Text through Google Scholar

1. Use Google Scholar to find a full text/pdf copy of a journal article.

2. Use the Virtual Library of Virginia, Journal Finder to find a full text/pdf copy of a journal article.


Keep in mind that if we don't have the journal/article that you need online, just submit an interlibrary loan request to get a free PDF copy emailed to you free of charge.

If you have the citation and want a full text/PDF copy of the article, you can use Google Scholar to get a full text/pdf copy of the article.

If you are Off-Campus, you will need to make sure you configure Google Scholar. You will find the configuration instructions below.



1. Copy the title of the journal article in the citation above.
2. Go to Google Scholar. and paste the title of the article into the search box.
3. If NSU Library subscribes to this journal, you will see links to the right of the citation that displays in Google Scholar. Click on the link(s) to get the full text/PDF copy. If a link does not appear, NSU does NOT have a subscription to the journal.  However, you can submit an interlibrary loan request and obtain a free copy of the article.

How to Set up Library Links in Google Scholar

You can customize Google Scholar to provide full-text links to journal articles available through LBB Library's subscriptions. Here's how to do it:

 1. Go to Google Scholar

2. Click on the Menu button  undefined

3. Click on the Settings gear  undefined

4. Select Library Links, and then select "Norfolk State University Library" and "Open WorldCat Library Search" under the search bar

5.  Note that the University’s Library is for students, staff, and faculty affiliated with NSU.

6. Click "Save"

7. Now, when you search Google Scholar, you will see a "Full-Text @ Your Library" link next to any subscription resources that we have access to through LBB


You will need to configure the Google Scholar settings in each browser you use to search Google Scholar.




Evaluating the Resources That You Find Using the CRAAP Test

When you encounter any kind of source, consider:

  1. Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view? 
  2. Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
  3. Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
  4. Relevance - How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
  5. Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
  6. Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?