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San Diego City College Library

To open the site in a new window: https://library.sdcity.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

Articles | Citations | E-Books | Remote Access | Research | Textbooks | Tutoring | Videos

Finding Articles

How do I find articles on my topic?

  • To learn how to do library research, including finding articles, read Research step-by-step.
  • OR go to the A-Z Databases link. Select a database from the alphabetical list, or, you can click on the Sort by Subject Category dropdown menu to narrow the list by subjects and then select a database. Type your topic in the database search box. For further assistance, ask a librarian. 
  • OR check our Research Guides, which highlight our Library resources on various subjects.

How do I find scholarly articles?

To understand what is a scholarly article, go to Research step-by-step 2) Understand information.

To find a scholarly article:

  • Go to the A-Z Databases link.
  • Select a database from the alphabetical list OR click on the Sort by Subject Category dropdown menu to narrow the list by subjects.
  • Pick a database that has a Scholarly/Peer Reviewed badge, indicating it has some scholarly articles. OR use the Sort by Type dropdown menu to narrow the list by Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Available.

Options for finding scholarly articles will vary by database, but look for an Advanced Search link or for checkboxes in the left margin of the screen like:

  • Limit by Academic Journals
  • Limit by Scholarly Articles

I've found an article, but it's just a summary. What do I do?

Sometimes an article is only available as a summary in a database. Try using the Journal Finder to see if we have the journal available in full-text in another database. The Journal Finder searches for the journal title, so make sure you have the name of the journal title (not just the article title) and the year the article was published. If you can't find the full text of the article, either look for another article or ask a librarian for assistance. 


I'm having trouble finding articles on my topic.

  • In general, search using one or two nouns, combined by AND or OR.
  • If you find too much information, take out a word. If you don't find enough, add one.
  • Use an asterisk (*) to search for variations on a word. For example, searching for student* will bring up records on student and students.
  • Go to Research step-by-step 3) Find books and articles via databases
  • If you're still having trouble finding what you need, please ask a librarian for assistance. 

Finding E-Books

How do I find an e-book?

Using the SDCCD Books+ tab:

  • Type in the term(s) for the topic you want to look for and click the magnifying glass icon.
  • When you get results, look in the left margin and click the following boxes:
    • Available Online.
    • Location is City College.
  • Click the link for the title to open the e-book.
  • For EBSCO eBooks, view the video tutorial: Reading an EBSCO e-Book.

Using the A-Z Databases page:

  • Use the Sort by Type dropdown menu above the alphabetical list. Select the type for e-books.
  • The alphabetical list will narrow down to just those databases with e-book collections.
  • Select a database and search for your topic. 

Finding a Textbook

How do I find what textbook(s) I need for my class?

In the Class Schedule:  Go to http://schedule.sdccd.edu

  • Click on the Class Schedule.
  • Search for your class. 
  • Click on the Class Number.
  • Scroll down to the section of the page for Textbook/Other Materials.

In the Campus Bookstore Web Site: Go to  https://www.bookstore.sdccd.edu/city/

  • Fill out the form for Generate Your Book List and follow the directions to see the books for the class. 

In your Course Syllabus: Check the syllabus your instructor gave you the first week of class to see what books you need.


How do I get the online version of my textbook?

  • Some companies have made free versions of their textbooks available. Please contact your instructor for access.

Finding Videos

The Library provides free access to streaming video collections. Please see our Videos page. 

Help with citations

How do I create a Works Cited page for my paper?

Web Sites:

The pages below are sponsored by Purdue University Online Writing Center (OWL), a well-known institution. Their web pages have almost as much detail and examples as the official handbooks.

"Cheat Sheets":

The documents below are quick two-page overviews created by SDCC Librarians of the style guides with samples of the most common formats of resources used in term papers.

Help with your research

Who can help me with research?

Use our 24-hour chat service, LibChat to get assistance from a live librarian any time.

How can I learn to do research?

Help with your studies (tutoring)

How do I get help with math, writing, or other classes?

Help with remote access to Library resources

How do I get library access from off campus?

  • You will be prompted for login information when you click on a link to a database or an e-book.
  • Use your student ID number and last name to access our electronic databases from off-campus. Type in your last name exactly the way you registered for classes.
  • You must be enrolled in at least one City College course during the current semester, and have fully paid your tuition and fees in order to log in.
  • If you are not currently teaching, or if you have problems with your login, please contact citylib@sdccd.edu.

I've put in my student ID number and password and still can't get into a database or e-book.

  • Use your student ID number and last name. Type in your last name exactly the way you registered for classes.
  • You must be enrolled in at least one City College course during the current semester, and have fully paid your tuition and fees in order to log in.
  • Some databases require that your browser be set to accept all cookies.
  • Security software may interfere with a database's user authentication protocol. You may have to temporarily disable it in order to connect to a database.
  • If you are not currently teaching, or if you have problems with your login, please contact citylib@sdccd.edu.
  • If it is asking for a password, are you accessing the database directly, or are you going through the Library website? You have to go through the Library website for the system to know you are a student.
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