Concordia University



Fundamentals for Graduates

Our Graduate Students guide tries to bring together all the library-related resources and services you will need for your studies at Concordia. It can help you pinpoint the best spots on the library web site for graduate students and discover the services, resources and perks reserved for grad students only. 

  • Use an ASK A LIBRARIAN service such as a reference desk or our live chat feature, for quick and direct questions about library resources and services.

  • Contact the Subject Librarian for your Discipline to ask more in-depth questions about your research or to to make an appointment for a one-on-one consultation. 

While the DISCOVERY SEARCH box that appears on our homepage can be a very useful and rewarding starting point for your research, it is a general purpose tool, NOT a subect-specific resource. 


  1. Start with the Subject Guide for your Discipline to discover and access databases and other resources considered essential for your discipline and recommended by your Subject Librarian

  2. Use our Databases by Subject listing to quickly access your favourite databases, or browse by Database Type, such as primary sources or those all-important theses & dissertations.

*For useful search techniques see our SEARCH STRATEGIES CHEAT SHEET.

To manage what you found in the databases and create instant bibliographies:

ZOTERO is a free and popular citation tool
(and an alternative to RefWorkswhich will be phased out by April 2020)
To begin:

  1. Register for a free account
  2. DOWNLOAD the appropriate Zotero program for your computer and Connector for your browser
  3. Learn more via our:

If you are interested in exploring other Bibliographic Management Tools see this comparison document from U of T.


Virtually all of the resources listed on this page can be helpful when you are preparing your literature review.

Some tools, however, can be especially useful in this area. Here are a few:

Virtually all of the resources listed on this page can help you find material about research method(s) you may be considering.

But anyone in the Social Sciences should also try out our new specialized tool:

  • Sage Research Methods Online
    • This tool contains encyclopedias, dictionaries, books, journal articles and videos dealing with research methods in both theoretical and practical terms. It also includes Methods Map, a visualization tool that tries to map relationships between methods. 

  • NOTE: The Findit@Concordia button in most of our Databases can often help you directly access Concordia material, but IT DOESN'T ALWAYS WORK! You'll need the alternatives below.

  • Give our Discovery Search box a quick try.
  • ACCESS BOOKS & BOOK CHAPTERS: Use our library catalogue CLUES - try the Search Options for title, author, keyword and more.

  • ACCESS CONCORDIA THESES: Use our Institutional Repository, Spectrum. Theses are also catalogued in CLUES.

  • ACCESS JOURNALS: Use the CLUES Journal Title Search option or E-journals search page.

  • ACCESS COURSE READINGS:  Professors will often put these online via Course Reserves.

  • *TIP: Use the Article Delivery Form for journals at Concordia that are not online.


  • Citations to BOOKS always include the place of publication and the name of publisher, while journal articles never do.
  • Citations to BOOK CHAPTERS always start with the author and title of the chapter, followed by the editors (eds) and title of the book.
  • JOURNAL ARTICLES usually include volume and issue numbers, though these are NOT necessarily preceded by abbreviations such as vol
  • See our other library catalogues page to check for material at other institutions locally and worldwide.

  • WorldCat simultaneously searches the catalogues of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide and Google Books searches within the pages of millions of books.

  • Obtain a BCI card to borrow material from other libraries yourself.

  • Use COLOMBO (our Interlibrary Loans form) to request - for free - books, journal articles and conference papers from anywhere in the world.
4 tips for better ILL with COLOMBO
  1. ONE request per item. ILL staff will check with ALL possible lenders for you, whether or not you have specified a particular location to borrow from.
  2. If you cannot find an item with the search, use the "Create Requests" link and then fill out the appropriate form.
  3. When searching for journal articles make sure to search for the journal title not the article title and place it in quotes.
  4. Once you make a request, contact the ILL Office (ext: 7716 or email: to make changes, for updates or for any questions (ex: why did my request disappear?). 

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