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College of Pharmacy Research Guide: Research Help

A research guide for the College of Pharmacy

Understanding Resources

How does information grow and change over time?

The timeline below gives you an overview and suggestions where to start searching for the information created at different stages in the timeline.

Click on the image for a full size view.

Different information resources take different time to get published. You refer to different resources at different stages of your research.

What information resources are appropriate for the different stages of your research? The timeline below gives you an overview with suggestions on where to locate them.

Click on the image for the full size view.

What are Popular Magazines and how are they different from Scholarly Journals? When do you use popular magazines (of the scientific kind) and when do you refer to scholarly journals in your research? These questions are important before you start searching for information on the Library-subscribed databases. They help you to think about your information need before you embark on your literature search.

Watch this video to find out the differences between these two types of resources.

What are Scholarly ArticlesAcademic Articles, or Peer-reviewed Articles? Do they mean the same thing? This 3-minute video on the peer review process by NCSU Libraries explains things for you.

Plagiarism & Citing Sources

Of course American Playwright Mizner was only joking. Acknowledging the sources of your ideas and citing the works of other writers are actually important aspects of academic writing. They help you to

  • Strengthen your arguments – it shows that they are based on the body of knowledge and not something that is pulled from thin air.
  • Document your research, providing the authority and foundation to support your arguments and conclusions. You are telling your supervisor or reader that you have done the necessary legwork and are an expert in this area because you have reviewed the literature on it.
  • Creates greater impact on your readers – research work is about finding the gap in the body of knowledge that you can fill.
  • Create explicit linkages between your own research and that which came before you, providing the rationale for your research and how it fits into the knowledge gap.
  • Avoid accusations of plagiarism.

It is right to give credit to authors whose ideas you use, just as you would expect others to give credit to your ideas.

Adapted from Bowman (2009) and Valenza (2004)

What is Plagiarism?

The theft of ideas (such as the plots of narrative or dramatic works) or of written passages or works, where these are passed off as one's own work without acknowledgement of their true origin; or a piece of writing thus stolen. Plagiarism is not always easily separable from imitation, adaptation, or pastiche , but is usually distinguished by its dishonest intention.

"plagiarism" The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. 2008. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press

Plagiarism FAQ

Every case is different and will be judged differently. However, pleading ignorance or claiming that the plagiarism is accidental will not be enough. It is always a good idea to include full citation details when taking notes to help avoid accidental plagiarism.

That's too bad, they got there first! You will still have to cite the published source.

According to the American Psychological Association (2010), self-plagiarism refers to "the practice of presenting one's own previously published work as though it were new" (pg. 170). While it may sound oxymoronic to steal from yourself, you are committing self-plagiarism if you reuse your own work without proper citation. Refer to Dellavalle's (2009) article for more details on the topic.

Now that you know why you have to provide citations, let’s look at when you have to cite your sources and when it is not necessary.

You should provide citations when:

  1. You use an idea that has already been expressed by someone else (even ideas transmitted informally).
  2. You refer to the work of another person.
  3. You quote the work of someone else.

You do not need to cite:

  1. When discussing your own experiences, observations, or reactions.
  2. When compiling the results of original research, experiments, etc.
  3. Facts or information that are widely known, or common knowledge.


A good search strategy will ensure that you find what is relevant for your research efficiently.
Follow these search tips when you are starting your research (click on the image for full size view).

QuickSearch for Books, Articles, Media and More...

Use the QuickSearch box above to search for a book, book chapter, journal, journal article, etc.

You can filter the results to include the specific type of information (book, article, etc.) you are searching for in the left panel of the results page.

The Library subscribes to different databases relevant to the learning and research needs of the Xavier Community. Some databases are discipline-specific and others are multidisciplinary. Some are full-text databases providing you with the full-text PDF of the article, while others provides abstracts to articles published in journals.

Check out the full list of Library-subscribed databases here.

BrowZine allows you to browse, read, and manage articles from journals subscribed by the Library on your desktop, tablet or mobile phone.

Use the search box below to start searching for a journal. Go to the BrowZine Library Guide for more info and instructions on how to download the BrowZine app on your mobile devices.

Search Xavier's e-journals via BrowZine


DOI or PMID Look Up

If you know the DOI or the PMID of an article, use the search box to go directly to the article.

Lookup a journal article by DOI or PMID

Useful Library Guides

Help to get started