A Keyword Search will search for any time a word or phrase is mentioned in the description and/or record of an item. Starting your research with a keyword search can help you find more relevant subject terms, which can help you narrow (or expand) your search results.
If you're not sure what your keywords might be, think about your general topic and what the specifics of that topic might be.
If you're interested in a work of fiction, what about it is interesting to you? If you're interested in a particular building in NYC, what about that building would you want to know more about? Each aspect of your general research question that you may want to investigate can be used as a keyword/search term as you investigate your topic.
Using AND, OR, or quotation marks to combine your search terms, search for similar terms, or search for exact terms can help you discover more relevant information on your topic.
AND let's you combine your ideas.
Think of using AND as like adding another search box to your investigation. For example, I might be investigating a literary history of lower Manhattan, but my search strategy would like more like (Lower Manhattan AND Literature).
OR let's you search for similar terms.
When we're in conversation with each other, it's really easy to connect similar terms together. When we're using the library's resources in particular, we have to be more self-directed. Adding similar terms to your search using OR let's your expand your search results.
Using "..." /quotation marks allow you to search for exact terms and/or names.
This is really helpful if there is a specific title you want to investigate, or an author or person. This works best with known phrases like "imminent domain" or "climate change," but is not helpful if you are searching for your topic sentence or thesis statement. You do not need quotation marks if you are searching for a singular term.
Checklist for getting started with research:
Review the assignment
Find information! What do you need to know?
Focus your topic
Remember: the research process takes time
Questions? Ask a librarian
The QuickSearch lets you search our books, ebooks, and nearly all of our databases all at once. It is a great place to start your research and get a sense of what we have access to. It by no means give you access to every single piece of information available through the library, but it does give you a good snapshot of what is out there.
This is a very multidisciplinary tool and covers a wide range of subject areas. If you are doing research that is more subject specific, you will also want to take a look at our Databases too.
If you are looking for a particular book, or just want to see what books (both in print and available online) that we have available through Pace libraries, this is where you can start your search.
The Library Catalog searches across our holdings at both Birnbaum Library (NYC) and Mortola Library (PLV). You can use the Request option in the catalog to get books delivered from either campus.
You can also request books ahead of your visit to the library using this feature. During the Fall 2020 semester, and with respect to social distancing guidelines, we strongly encourage you to request your books ahead of time to minimize your time at the library.
If you need to do subject specific research, the Databases are the best place to look. While our QuickSearch tool can be really helpful, it can also be harder to narrow down your topic from there. So, if you know that the research you need to do is primarily on Literature, or History, or Business. you can search in a database that has information (typically scholarly, peer-reviewed articles) focused specifically on that area of interest.
Pace Libraries subscribes to a lot of databases, and navigate them in a few ways. You can explore our databases by subject by using the drop down menu, or you can select from the alphabetical list.
Research guides are webpages with information on specific topics and subjects curated by librarians. If you're not sure where to start researching a particular topic, they can be really helpful. Not only will they give you more information on the specific databases and resources that are available to you, but they will also typically have more information on how to best use those resources as well. A librarian is assigned to each guide, and you can easily contact them if you have any additional questions.
You can browse our research guides by subject and by owner.