Choosing a topic
When choosing a topic for your research paper, think about the following:
- Unless your instructor assigns a topic, try to select a topic that interests you.
- Make sure your topic is not too broad, or too narrow. You will find too much information when searching for a broad topic; and not enough information when searching for a narrow topic.
- If you already have a general topic, try searching the library's catalog or the library's databases for ideas on how to narrow that topic down.
- Visit the library's Reference Desk and request to view the following book: 10,000 ideas for term papers, projects, reports and speeches: Intriguing, original research topics for every student's need.
- For current events and issues in the news, try searching the library's database: CQ Researcher.
- For debatable or controversial issues, ask one of the librarians about the Opposing Viewpoints Series, the Taking Sides Series, Issues in Focus Series and/or the Current Controversies Series.
- Visit the Social Issues Research Guide. There you will find a list of current social issues to choose from.
Guides for Computer Programs and Software:
Many Computer Science Books can be found in the Safari Online Books Collection (See Databases section).
Microsoft Office books have the call number HF5548.4.M525
Books will provide an excellent starting point for your research in the field of Computer Science. Reference books often give you background information and a general overview on your topic so that you can proceed with greater understanding to a more detailed treatment of your subject in other books and periodicals. Reference books may include specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, almanacs, atlases and/or statistical reports. The librarian at the Reference Desk can help in locating an appropriate source. Listed below are the titles and call numbers of some of the Computer Science books in the library's reference collection. The reference collection is located on the main level of the library. Books with a location of Reference cannot be checked out of the library. The Circulating Collection is on the second floor of the library. Books with a location of Circulating may be checked out.
To search the Catalog for a book, click on it's callnumber below.
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
|1001 Computer Words You Need to Know. Ed. by Jerry Pournelle. (N...||Reference||QA76.5.A125 2004|
|Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms. Ed. by Douglas A. Dow...||Reference||QA76.15.D667 2000|
|Encyclopedia of Computer Science. (London: Nature Pub. Group, 20...||Reference||QA76.15.E48 2000|
|Encyclopedia of Computers and Computer History Ed. by Raul Rojas...||Reference||QA76.15.E53 2001|
|Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology. Ed. by Mehdi...||Reference||Z1006.E566 2005|
|The Computer Glossary: The Complete Illustrated Dictionary. Ed. ...||Reference||QA76.15. F733 2001|
|The Dictionary of Multimedia: Terms & Acronyms. Ed. by Brad Hans...||Reference||QA76.15.H318 2005|
|The Handbook of Information Security. Ed. by Hossein Bidgoli. (H...||Reference||TK5105.59.H35 2006|
|The Internet Encyclopedia. Ed. by Hossein Bidgoli. (Hoboken, NJ:...||Reference||TK5105.875.I57 I5466 2004|
The library catalog is used to locate books both at RVCC, as well as from other libraries in the Somerset County Library System. Books will provide in-depth information not found in reference sources.
- Start with a Keyword search. Once you find one or two books about your topic, check the book's record to see what Subjects are being used. Once you find the appropriate Subject Heading, repeat your search using those headings. Generally, the results from a Subject search will always be more accurate than the results from a Keyword search.
- If you know the title of the book you are looking for, do a Title search.
- If you are looking for a book with a specific author, do an Author search (last name first).
Suggested Subject Headings for Computer Science:
Click a subject heading below to use it as the search term for a Subject Search in the catalog.
- Computer networks
- Computer science
- Computer security
- Data protection
- Data structures
- Data warehousing
- Expert systems
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Windows
- Object-oriented programming
- World Wide Web
Consult with the reference librarian to find the term best suited to your needs.
Browse the Collection:
Most of the books can be found in the following areas:
- E660-738 -- Late Nineteenth Century, 1865-1900
- Q300-390 -- Cybernetics
- Q350-390 -- Information Theory
- QA75.5-76.95 -- Computer Science
- TK5105 -- Internet and Networking
- TK7885-7895 -- Computer Engineering, Computer Hardware
All of the library's circulating books are located on the upper level of the library.
For additional library catalogs, including libraries in Hunterdon and Middlesex counties, consult the Additional Library Catalogs page. If you find a book in one of these catalogs that the library does not own, request the book using the library's Interlibrary Loan Service.
Research Databases - Finding Articles
The Evelyn S. Field Library has access to thousands of periodicals. (Periodicals can be magazines, scholarly journals, or newspapers.) Some periodicals are in the library's print (or hard copy) collection. However, the majority of periodicals are available in the Research Databases. These databases provide access to articles. This information is generally more current than material found in books.
Search for periodical articles on Computer Science using the databases listed below. They can be accessed from the Library Database Page. (If you are using these databases from an off-campus location, you will be asked to identify yourself by logging in with your Username and Password. This is the same login you use on campus. The Research Databases are available only to registered RVCC students.)
- ABI/Inform Complete
"Search 1000 premier worldwide business periodicals for information on advertising, marketing,economics, human resources, finance, taxation, computers, and more. Also, information on 60,000+ companies." Drawn from the vendor's website.
- ACM Digital Library
The ACM Digital Library holds the publications of The Association of Computing Machinery, including journals, magazines, transactions, proceedings, newsletters, Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and ACM oral history interviews.
- Credo Reference
A full-text online reference service that includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, quotations, and many other sources of factual information. Use Credo to get background information on a research topic or become familiar with a new subject. Subjects covered include art, business, food and beverage, geography, history, language, law, literature, medicine, music, philosophy, psychology, religion, science, social sciences, and technology.
- National Newspapers Expanded
Proquest Newspapers includes the full text of The Atlantic Journal - Constitution, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
- Safari Computer Science E-Books
Safari Books Online is a collection of over 5,200 electronic books in the field of computer science. Publishers include O’Reilly, Addison-Wesley, Sams, Que, Peachpit Press, Prentice Hall, John Wiley & Sons and many more.
After finding an article on your research topic, the database will either provide a citation and summary of the article, or it will provide the full-text (the complete article). If you are only given a citation and summary of the article, you can check the Periodical Locator to determine if the periodical you are looking for is available in another database. (The Periodical Locator is an alphabetical list of all the journals the library has access to. Feel free to talk with a librarian for assistance.) If the article is not available in any of the library's research databases, request the article using the library's Interlibrary Loan Service.
If, for your assignment, you are required to have sources from scholarly journals, use the Identifying Scholarly Articles guide to help you determine if your source is a magazine article or a scholarly article.
- Association for Computing Machinery
- Association for Information Systems
- Association of Information Technology Professionals
- Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
- Computing Research Association
Source: IDG Publishing Network -- Up-to-the-minute news related to technology and information for IT users. Also has blogs, webcasts, podcasts, videos, and reports on advances in technology.
- Digital Trends
Source: Digital Trends -- Digital Trends helps people make the most of the hi-tech lifestyle by providing sneak peeks, one-of-a-kind product reviews, editorials and technology news about trendsetting consumer products and services. Read more.
- Dr. Dobbs Portal
Source: Dr. Dobb’s Journal -- Articles written by professional software developers and architects to explore new technologies, evaluate programming styles, and share tips about all languages, platforms and tools.
- Ethics in Computing
Source: Dr. Edward Gehringer, North Carolina State University -- Covers topics such as computer abuse, commerce, privacy, and intellectual property.
- Free Online Dictionary of Computing
Source: University of London, Imperial College Department of Computing -- A guide to cyberbabble.
- Help-Site Computer Manuals
Source: Nicholas Reynolds -- Help-Site contains links to computer-related support documents and sites including FAQ lists, tutorials, manuals, and official or unofficial support sites.
Source: IDG Publishing Network -- Enterprise and business technology news and product reviews. News on technology trends and solutions, comparative product reviews and buying information, IT product specs and user reviews.
Source: Network World, Inc. -- Written by Java programmers, this site is designed for developers, programmers, and enterprise managers who need information about Java programming language and related technologies.
Source: Mac Publishing LLC -- News, reviews, help, how-to's, videos, and podcasts related to Apple products, including Mac, Mac software, Mac OS X, the iPod and iTunes, and the iPhone. Provides reviews of Apple products and Mac-compatible hardware.
- PC Magazine
Source: Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings, Inc. -- Designed for technology buyers, this site offers in-depth, authoritative, lab tested comparative reviews of computing and Internet products.
- PC World
Source: PC World Communications -- Offers authoritative reviews of technology products, current pricing information, news updates, how-to articles, features and special reports, and interactive tools. The site also provides downloads of evaluated freeware and shareware.
- Programmers Heaven
Source: Synchron Data -- Online reference for programmers. Information on Pascal, COBOL, C, C++, Java and others. Provides downloads and links to programming-related Web pages.
Source: Geeknet, Inc. -- Technology and social media website dedicated to science and technology related news.
- W3 Schools
Source: W3Schools -- At W3 Schools you will find all the Web-building tutorials you need, from basic HTML and XHTML to advanced XML, SQL, Database, Multimedia and WAP.
Source: CondeNet, Inc. -- Focuses on how technology is changing the world in business, science, entertainment, education, culture, and politics. Provides commentaries, authoritative reviews, and practical hands-tutorials.
- Call or visit the Reference Desk to speak to one of the librarians. The Reference Desk is located on the main floor of the library. The phone number is 908-526-1200 x8350.
- Email your question to one of the librarians using the Ask-A-Librarian Service.
- For further information about this guide, please contact Megan Dempsey
Last Updated - 19 September 2008