COLWRIT R4B: Writing About War

OskiCat or Article Database ?

It's important to use the right tool for the job.  Choosing the "right" resource means choosing a database that finds you the kind of materials you need.

You are likely to need to use both the UCB Library catalog (OskiCat) and an article database. Which you use, and at what point in the research process, depends on what you already know and the kind of materials you're seeking.

In a nutshell: if you already have a citation (i.e. you want to find a known item), you can start with the catalog.  If you only have a topic and wish to isolate articles or essays on the topic, you'll need to use an article database first.

See details about these two types of resources, when to use what, and locating results.

Library Catalog

OskiCat is the UCB library catalog.

A catalog tells you what a library has (in Berkeley's case, libraries), the location, and whether or not the item is available (sample catalog record).

  • books
  • journals
  • films, etc.

Tutorial snippet: searching OskiCat (basic information on subject and keyword searching, and locating results).

Article databases

Article databases help identify articles on a topic (sometimes more than articles) and where they were published (e.g. what publications). Sometimes results link to article content online.

Access: see electronic resources section of this page.  Off-campus access also requires Proxy Server or VPN setup (see For Starters tab for details).

Article databases & other electronic resources

  • available via the electronic resources link on the library website
  • Find Information tab
  • view for specific subject or view general (interdisciplinary) category
  • database descriptions (subject, type of materials, dates of publication, if full text available)
  • Recommended = central resource, typically helpful for many researchers
  • sidebar menu (links to other types of resources in selected subject)

    Off-campus access requires Proxy Server or VPN setup
Read more

Primary sources

Primary sources were either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the events being studied....They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer.  Primary sources enable the researcher to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period

  • Library guide (in depth examination of finding historical primary sources)

  • For Your Assignment:  Popular media coverage (newspapers, television, magazines) provides easily accessible access to primary source material. Other kinds exist, and will largely be identified by reviewing secondary source literature on your topic. (see class notes for specific suggestions)
Last Update: September 21, 2011 11:16