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Library DIY: Starting your Research

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Searching WISE

WISE is the library catalog and can be used to search all of the resources that the Westminster College Library owns or has access to.

WISE also has records from thousands of libraries worldwide - If you need one of these items, we may be able to borrow it from another library.!

It can be really useful to be able to see everything that is available from all of these other libraries, but it can make it a little harder to figure out what you can walk in and grab off the shelf, and what you might have to order (a week or two in advance!)

Here are some reminders: 

  • By default, items that Westminster College owns or has access to appear first in the search results.
  • If Westminster College owns or has access to an item, this will be indicated in a green font below the item result.
  • For items not owned or accessible by Westminster College, WISE offers direct access to our Interlibrary Loan services. See The library doesn't have what I need page for more information.

WISE is a user-friendly, all-in-one search tool, but is important to know when to use WISE, and when you should use the Library's other electronic resources. 

  • Print books and eBooks: WISE is the only place you can search our print book collection.  WISE is also the most convenient place to search our eBook collection.
  • Known items: If you know the exact book, journal, article, DVD, or other item you want, WISE will quickly show you if Westminster College owns or has access to that item.  If that item is not available through Westminster College, WISE provides an easy way to place an ILL request.
  • First-year or intro-level studies: WISE is the most user-friendly, all-in-one search option available and provides a good amount of relevant, appropriate sources for basic research needs.
  • Interdisciplinary research: WISE contains materials from all subjects/disciplines taught on campus. Using WISE is a good Interdisciplinary search strategy for when you need resources from different subjects or want to see how the same topic is addressed by different diciplines.

Use the Online Journals and Reference Sources page for:

  • Discipline-specific databases: Searching specific databases (e.g., PsycINFO, SciFinder, ScienceDirect, MLA International Bibliography) is a better search strategy for more in-depth, advanced research. These databases allow for tailored search strings and provide citation tools.
  • Other types of electronic sources:
    • Newspapers:  U.S. Major Dailies, NY Times, Nexis Uni
    • Reference: Credo, Oxford, SAGE
    • Discipline-based: Birds of the World, Mergent Online
    • Streaming: Video (Kanopy, Swank) and music (NAXOS)
    • Primary Sources
    • and more!

If you have trouble with any of the links or records in WISE, check out the WISE Troubleshooting guide, or contact John Garrison for help