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How to Research: Get Started Researching

This guide is intended as a starting place for doing academic research.

1. Reference Resources

Begin your research by seeking some general background information about your topic using reference resources.  Some reference resource will be available in print at the library.  Other reference resources are available electronically.  This page will guide you in both types of reference resources.

Specialized Online Reference Resources

General Resources

2. Do a general search on MEGA Search

Next, use MEGASearch to begin finding books, articles, reports and other academic resources on your topic.

Search MEGASearch


Use the MEGAsearch to search the Library catalog, online article databases, e-books, and more, all from one search box!

What is MEGASearch?

Introducing the MEGASearch

MEGASearch is a way of searching multiple PCC Library's resources at the same time. From a single search box, you can search the library's online catalog, as well as many of our databases.  Find books, e-books, articles, videos, and more. 


How to do a search:

1) Enter your search terms on the Basic Search screen and click Search.


  2) Use the limiters on the left side to limit your results.  You can limit results by:

  • Items in the Library Catalog only (books, videos, etc. mainly physical items in library collection)
  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Date
  • Source type (e.g. books, e-books, videos, periodicals)
  • Subject headings
  • Campus


3. View Full Text Records or Retrieve Catalog Items

In the results list, you have the option of clicking the title of the item to view the full record.  You can also view the full-text directly if full-text of the article is available (either as HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text).  If the item is a book, you can click Retrieve the Catalog Item to put the book on hold, or get to the full record within the library catalog.