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Distance Education

Shepard Library offers many resources for research. Use the tabs below for information on locating books, journals, databases and other items relevant to your studies. Shepard Library is your portal to information resources and research assistance!

Citation Management Software


RefWorks is likely the best citation management software available. It is free to NCCU students. It will organize your references and will also automatically create well-formatted bibliographies for you. Like all citation software, you still need to look over the citations it provides - if the MARC record contains incorrect information, then the wrong information will always be included in the citation unless you change it. If you find an article in most of the databases we have, you can simply export the article to RefWorks and it will keep track of all of your articles. 

It is very simple to create  RefWorks account. Go to the link above and click "Create Account" here: 


EndNote is an online search tool - it provides a simple way to search online bibliographic databases and retrieve the references directly into EndNote. It can also import data files saved from a variety of online services and library databases.

     A free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.

Citation Tools


The NCCU Graduate Handbook defines plagiarism as

"Plagiarism is the use of the ideas, words, or work of another without attribution when the information provided is not common knowledge either in content or form and includes, but is not limited to (1) quoting from the published or unpublished work of another without appropriate attribution; (2) paraphrasing or summarizing in one's own work any portion of the published or unpublished materials of another without attribution; and (3) borrowing from another's work, data, and facts which are not in the domain of common knowledge.”

Learn how to avoid plagiarism and cite properly by watching the Plagiarism Tutorial offered by Shepard Library. 

Why Cite Sources?

You must document your research and give credit to others whose work you use. Proper citation helps you avoid plagiarism, which is a violation of NCCU's academic honor code.

You may read the Undergraduate Student Code of Academic Integrity in the NCCU Academic Planner and Student Handbook. The Graduate Student Academic Integrity Policy can be found in the NCCU Graduate Handbook.

Click here for a tutorial on avoiding plagiarism.

Online Reference & Citation Resources

CAVEAT LECTOR - Let the reader beware

When you use a research or academic library, the books, journals and other resources have already been evaluated by scholars, publishers and librarians. Every resource you find has been evaluated in one way or another before you ever see it. When you are using the World Wide Web, none of this applies. There are no filters. Because anyone can write a Web page, documents of the widest range of quality, written by authors of the widest range of authority, are available on an even playing field. Excellent resources reside alongside the most dubious.

You may access other online sources for research from these links. Please remember these links are external to Shepard Library and to NC Central University and we have no control over their content.


 Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)

 Provides online guidance for MLA and APA style citations, as well as instruction on grammar and mechanics, research, and professional writing. The site also contains annotated sample papers - these are invaluable if you want to be sure that you are formatting your paper correctly. 


Google Scholar Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.



 Chicago Manual of Style Online Quick Guide

 This style presents bibliographic information in notes and, often, a bibliography. It accommodates a variety of sources, including esoteric ones less appropriate to the author-date system.




 Learning APA Style

 When editors or teachers ask you to write in APA Style, they are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field.


 Research and Documentation Online by Diana Hacker and Barbara Fister

  With advice for finding, evaluating, and documenting sources, this website covers essential information students need to research assignments in any discipline.