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Library Resources for Distance Students

Finding Books | Finding Articles | Plagiarism & Citations | Other Libraries | FAQs | Get Help


Finding the information you need on the library website when you're working from a distance can seem overwhelming. This page is designed to help you find resources that you need to successfully complete your assignments. If it doesn't answer a question, contact us. We're more than happy to help!

Using the Library from Home

How to access our databases from home, including some troubleshooting tips. (1:56)

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Getting Started on a Research Paper

Understanding the research process

This tutorial looks at ways of creating a research project that answers a researchable question, rather than just collecting a lot of information about a topic and handing in what you found.

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Pre-research strategies

Often when you start a research project, you have only a foggy idea of what your topic is about. This tutorial looks at ways of getting a working knowledge of a topic that will aid in further research.

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Finding Books & Media

The Library Catalogue:

Although most of our collection is print books, we have more than 100,000 titles available to distance students electronically. (See below for information about finding books at other libraries.)

Starting a Catalogue Search

Shows the 3 ways of starting a search. (0:40)

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e-Library Interface Introduction

Demonstrates the functions of the various part of the e-Library interface. (4:56)

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Basic e-library Search

An introduction to doing basic searches using the e-Library catalogue interface. (5:04)

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Working with Results: Part 1

Looks at how to:

  • Determine format, availability, and location
  • Access e-documents
  • Place a hold
  • Find more by an author or on a topic
  • View items nearby on the shelf (4:08)
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Working with Results: Part 2

Looks at how to use:

  • A look inside
  • Catalogue record
  • Add to list/My List
  • Continue search in . . . (3:37)
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Finding Articles

To find the database most suitable for your research by subject, go to the Articles (Databases) page.

Below are some tutorials that will help you when you're searching for information using article databases.

How to Choose Subject Databases

A brief introduction to how to locate the best database(s) for your area of research. (1:52)

See also, the Using Subject-Related Databases page.

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Finding Journals & Articles

Demonstrates how to look for information if you have:
a topic
a reference (2:49)

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Finding an Electronic Article from a Reference

Shows how to access an electronic journal article if you have the reference. (1:05)

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Improving Searches using Boolean Operators - Using AND, OR, & NOT to improve search results.

  • Searching with AND (1:29)
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  • Searching with OR (2:40)
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  • Searching with NOT (3:23)
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Plagiarism & Citations


RefWorks is an web-based program that will help you keep track of all of your references. This tutorial shows how to export references from an EBSCOhost database to RefWorks. For tutorials on exporting from other databases to RefWorks, go here.

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Formatting Citations using EBSCOhost Databases


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Book References

Shows how to use WorldCat to format most book references in one of these styles: APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, or Turabian. (2:04)

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Online Style Guides

Shows how to find reliable on-line citation information. (1:46)

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Plagiarism, Eh?

Looks at how to avoid plagiarism when writing a paper.

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Using Other Libraries

TWU is a member of COPPUL (Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries) through which we can provide the opportunity for you to receive borrowing privileges at most Canadian universities. When you register, check with your department about receiving a COPPUL card. If you're on campus, come to the Library, show your TWU student card, and ask for a COPPUL card.  Your COPPUL card, with your valid TWU student ID should make you eligible for borrowing privileges at participating Canadian universities.

For more information:

To search the catalogues of other libraries, go to:


Can I make a phone or e-mail request to have articles sent from the TWU Library to my location? 

Most of our articles are available electronically online, but if you find an article that you need in one of our print journals, contact us and we'll do our best to send you a copy, usually within a few days.

Can I make a phone or e-mail request to have books sent from the TWU Library to my location?   

We do not offer a book delivery service.  In its place, we recommend that you make use of the COPPUL opportunity.

Can I order books or articles through interlibrary loan?

We don't offer interlibrary loan services for books, but we do offer it for journal articles. Use the standard interlibrary loan form and we'll e-mail you the article. Note that the standard $2 charge still applies.

 Can I ask the TWU Library staff for help if I run into a research problem?  

Certainly.  The best way to do so it through the “Ask a Librarian” link on the Library Home Page.  Alternatively, you can send a message to a librarian on the Library Contacts List or phone the Research Help Desk in the Library (604-888-7511, ext. 3903).

What if I have a technical problem such as finding myself unable to log in to a database? 

Click on to document a technical issue.  Someone will get back to you. 

If I am on campus, can I sign out books from the library? 

Certainly.  Note, however, that regular due dates apply.  While you can renew a book by telephone (604-513-2023), you are responsible to get it back to us safely and on time. 

What sorts of services can I expect if I use the COPPUL opportunity to get a borrower’s card from another library? 

You are bound by the services and regulations of whatever library you are using.  These vary.  You can check the website for a list, if one exists, of services available to you at the university library of your choice.  Because policies change, it is advisable to contact the library before going to check on their policies for COPPUL borrowers.

For further assistance:

Ask A Librarian

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