Tutorials & FAQ

Finding Articles

How do I find a scholarly or peer-reviewed article?

It’s actually pretty easy to find a scholarly or peer-reviewed article if you are using one of the library’s databases.  Most of our databases come from two vendors – EBSCOHost and ProQuest.  When you do a search in any database from those providers, you can narrow down your results to only include those articles that are considered scholarly.  It’s usually a matter of clicking on a “scholarly or peer reviewed” check box.  More images and details here.  If you aren’t sure what a scholarly article is, this tutorial can help!


The article I want to read only has an abstract – how do I get the full text?

If the full text of the article you want to read is not available you can request it from interlibrary loan.

My instructor gave me a citation for an article to read in the library – how do I find it?

Use our A-Z full text journal finder to see if we subscribe to the full text of the journal title referenced in the citation.  Search for the journal title – if there is a match in the results list, check to make sure the date of the article you need is available from the list of databases in your results.  You can also check out our Citation to Full Text Tutorial to see how it’s done or check out this PDF with instructions!

Where can I find DRG and MSDRG information?

Check out our handout on how to locate DRGs and MSDRGs in the library.

Where can I find evidence-based nursing information?

The NAU library subscribes to several databases you can use to locate evidence-based practice materials.  This handout walks you through the steps to locate evidence-based information using the library’s resources.

Finding Books

Where can I find books to read?

The library subscribes to several electronic book databases that you can browse through to find thousands of titles relevant to your coursework.  Check out our database list to see all of the electronic book collections to which we subscribe.
If your campus has a library, you can search our online catalog to see which titles are available to you.
We also recommend that you take advantage of the public library system in your area, as well as any academic libraries that may be close to you.


Where can I find my textbook?

The library does not collect textbooks nor do we make online copies of them available for students. If you are looking for a textbook, please use the NAU Bookstore or another book retailer.

To access the NAU Bookstore, log into your student portal and click on the Bookstore tab.  If you need to purchase a book, select your class and click “Proceed to booklist.”  From there, you can select any books you may need to purchase and pay for them using a book voucher or a credit card.

If you have questions about using the bookstore or about an order you’ve placed, please contact the bookstore directly.  You can do so by clicking on the “Contact Us” link near the top of the bookstore page.

Please note: we can NOT fill interlibrary loan requests for text books.

The Research Process

I have to write a research paper – where should I start?

Think about what subject you need to research.  Do you need to find articles about education?  Business?  Global warming?  The library subscribes to a wide variety of databases – when you know the subject you need to research, you’ll be able to find an appropriate database more easily.

At the top of the library page, you’ll see that one of the navigation tabs is for Subject Guides.  If you need to write a business paper, for instance, you can select the Business subject guide from there.  You’ll then have access to those databases that we recommend using for business research.

If you are writing on a topic that is more general in nature, try using the databases Academic Search Premier or ProQuest Central.  Both databases are multidisciplinary and include information on a huge variety of topics.  You can access them from the Find Articles tab on the top of the home page (select Choose a Database from there).

Don’t forget when you are searching in a database that you may need to try your search using different terms.  For example, you may be looking for an article about global warming.  Don’t forget that some authors may use the phrase ‘climate change’ instead.  If you aren’t finding results using one search term, think about different words an author may use and try those instead.

For additional information related to writing a research paper, check out the NAU Writing Center .


APA Formatting and Copyright

How do I cite my sources in APA style?

Citing your sources properly is incredibly important and takes some practice.  We recommend that you check out our APA tutorial or visit NAU’s Writing Center for help with formatting your paper in APA format.   The Purdue OWL also has a lot of information available on how to use APA style properly.  Don’t forget to take advantage of the library’s databases for help with APA formatting as well – most databases that we subscribe to will actually show you how to format the citation for any article you find!

Your NAU Librarians are happy to help you make sure your papers contain correct APA citation formatting.  If you’d like help proofreading your paper, NAU offers 24/7 access to Smartthinking, an online tutoring service where you can get assistance with paper writing.  Smartthinking also offers tutoring in math, nursing, and business coursework.  For more information, please view this handout.


I need help – is there someone available to assist me?

Yes!!!  You can contact a librarian at askalibrarian@national.edu or by clicking on the Ask A Librarian link on the top right of this page.  We check that account daily and turn-around time is usually within just a few hours during normal business hours.  We also answer questions on the weekends, so if you need help, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you are on a campus that has a librarian, you can also contact him or her for assistance.  We are here to help you!


Does the library have practice tests for exams and certifications?

Yes, we do!

We subscribe to a database called Learning Express Library that contains a wide variety of practice tests and exams designed to help you with everything from refreshing your math skills to studying for specific exams like the CLEP.  We encourage students to create their own account within Learning Express so that you can save and access the materials you need quickly and easily.  Once you’ve created your account, you will have access to the database for as long as NAU subscribes to it (even if you graduate after creating your account!).

I’m looking for a tutor – where can I go?

NAU provides a number of tutoring options for students. Smarthinking (aka Smart Thinking) is a 24/7 online tutoring service where you can get assistance with paper writing, math, nursing, and business coursework.  Smarthinking can be accessed from D2L or the student portal. In addition to Smarthinking, many campuses have tutors available.  Please view this handout for more information about NAU’s tutoring options.


Technical Support

I’m having computer problems – what should I do?

If you are having technical support issues, start with U-Services (uservices@national.edu ) .
· Telephone: 1-800-548-0602
· Monday – Thursday: 7 AM – 7 PM MST
· Friday: 7 AM – 5 PM MST

If you need assistance outside those hours, complete the Web Form.

I can’t log in to a database I need – what do I do?

Please note that in order to access any of our databases, you must be a NAU student with an enrolled status. To log into our databases, you will be prompted to enter your student portal user name and password.

Your student portal username and password is what you will use to log into the library databases. If you are having problems logging into the library, we recommend you reset your student portal password, clear your browser’s cache, and try logging into the library once more.

If you are still unable to access a resource that is available from the library page, please contact us at askalibrarian@national.edu or use the question form here.

Can I get help with software like Excel or Powerpoint?

Yes! The library subscribes to a database called Learning Express that has a variety of software and computer tutorials available.  You can access Learning Express from the home page by clicking on the “Practice Tests” icon near the bottom of the page or by selecting Learning Express from our A-Z list of databases.  In addition to software like Excel, Powerpoint, Illustrator, and Photoshop, you can also find tutorials that can help you with Windows and Mac operating systems and much more.