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Specialized Research Services

In addition to providing normal reference desk service, the Oboler Library staff will, upon request, conduct special information searches for ISU students, faculty and staff, as well as for members of the general community. Searches can be performed on all subject areas, including the hard sciences, social sciences, humanities, and business, with some exceptions. For example, Library staff will not conduct patent or trademark searches. Such specialized search requests will be referred elsewhere. The Library charges for all searches on a cost-recovery basis.

Qualified staff from appropriate public service departments of the Library will conduct the special searches, and all pertinent information resources available to them will be utilized, excepting those rendered unavailable due to licensing agreements or other special circumstances. In most cases, computer searching of databases will be involved, and it should be understood that the use of many commercial databases entails charges to the Library that vary with the particular database accessed, the time spent searching the database, and the number and type of references retrieved. A portion of such charges is passed on to the requester, as explained below.

Charges for special searches

  • There is a $10 minimum charge for Special Information Searches for ISU faculty, students, and staff, which covers up to one hour of library staff time. This fee will be applied to any computer searching charges that may accrue. Any additional computer searching charges are the responsibility of the requester. Requests for research help do not need to be class related. For research fees charged to non-ISU community members, see Community Information Services.
  • If a search requires more than one hour of staff time, the requester will be charged $10 for each additional hour (or portion thereof) needed.

How to Arrange for a Search

  • Those wishing to have a special search conducted should inquire at the Reference Desk. The Reference librarian on duty will direct the requester to the appropriate Library staff member. ISU faculty, students and staff special search requests are given priority over those of community patrons. Otherwise, patrons are served on a first come, first served basis as time permits.

Please note: Library staff will make every effort to conduct effective searches within the databases accessed. It must be understood, however, that database searching is an art, and there are inherent limitations to any database's coverage of the literature. Consequently satisfactory results cannot be guaranteed.

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