COLWRIT R4B: (The Idea of) Prison

The Right Tool for the Job

Choosing the "right" resource means choosing a database that finds you the kind of materials you need.

Encyclopedias: Brief background information on your topic.

Books & articles: You're likely to need the UCB Library catalog (OskiCat) and an article database for your assignment. Which one you use, depends on what you already know and the kind of materials sought.

  • If you already have a citation for an item or you want to find books on your topic, you can start with the catalog
  • If you want to isolate articles or essays on a topic, you'll need to use an "article" database
  • Catalogs|article databases and locating results (detail)

Library Catalog

Catalogs list library collections, item locations, and availability.  OskiCat is the UCB libraries' catalog.

Article databases & other electronic resources

  • view for specific subject or view general (interdisciplinary) category
    • Recommended = central resource, typically helpful
    • sidebar menu (links to other types of resources in selected subject)
  • view alphabetically by type (news databases, encyclopedias, etc.)
  • database descriptions = subject(s), type of materials, dates of publication, if full text available
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Where's the article ?

UC-eLinks orange logo

Most library databases have the UC-eLinks feature. When a result is not available online, it allows you to check the UC-wide collections to see if it is available elsewhere (either online or in print copy).

Click the orange button associated with a result to see its access options.

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Background information

Encyclopedias are often a good place to begin when you don't know much about a topic. They provide basic background information, the knowledge of which helps when searching for other materials: identify people, events, issues, etc. Entries may also have an associated bibliography that identifies other materials related to a topic.

Online Access...see electronic resources section above

  • link to Subject > then use left sidebar menu to link to encyclopedias (subject specific)
  • link by Type >  Encyclopedias and almanacs (all of them)

Print Encyclopedias... use OskiCat

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Last Update: February 23, 2012 11:03