Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Westminster College Logo

Library DIY: Finding Books and Articles

What is WISE and how can I use it?.

WISE is the Library's search engine, it searches:

  • Everything we have in the building
  • Everything we pay to have access to online
  • A lot of stuff we don't have, but can get for you through a service called Inter-Library Loan (ILL)

 

WISE is a user-friendly, all-in-one search tool, but is important to know when to use WISE, and when you may be better served by using 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 an adequate amount of relevant, appropriate sources for basic research needs.
  • Interdisciplinary research: WISE contains materials from all subjects taught on campus. Use WISE when you want Interdisciplinary (from many subjects) resources..

Use the Online Journals and Reference Sources page for:

  • Discipline-specific research: 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!

How do I know what to type into WISE?

The first step to a successful search strategy is identifying the keywords you are going to type into the search bar.

How to select keywords:

  1. Write your topic as a question
  2. Identify the important nouns
  3. Identify synonyms and/or related concepts for each important noun

Now that you have a list of keywords, enter them into WISE.  Try different combinations and see what you find!