Most databases offer help screens with information about structuring your search and other tips. Often the links to help are in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Familiarizing yourself with the database's protocols is a good way to produce successful searches.
Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLAIB) (UCB only) The MLAIB is the largest index of critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore, containing over 2 million citations. The online version starts with the 1926 annual bibliography, but coverage of JSTOR titles goes back to the first issue published.
- until 1956, most of the items included in the bibliography were written by scholars in the U. S.
- subject indexing expanded dramatically in 1981; entries before that time usually have only the subject author’s name, national literature and century as descriptors.
- does not include book reviews and did not index most monographs, especially collections of essays, until recently. Users must consult catalogs to ensure finding monographs or collections of essays.
- use the layout of the advanced search box to create a Boolean search: (1) put synonyms in the rows (across)—the search results will have to have at least one of those words (2) words in different rows will be ANDed together and the search results will have to include words from all the rows.
- use truncation symbols: * for variant endings and ? for internal truncation—for example, dickens* will yield Dickens, Dickensian, Dickens’s, etc. The search wom?n will bring results with woman and women. When you get no results from a search, try truncating the term(s).
- author searches bring the work of scholars, not of literary authors. Use key word or descriptor searches to get scholarly items about an author
- UC e-Links will lead you to full-text of articles or to the Melvyl catalog, where you can see if Berkeley or another UC library has the item. If Berkeley does not own, use the orange request button to bring up an online interlibrary loan form.
Academic Search Complete (UCB only) A multidisciplinary index to articles in thousands of journals with full-text for many. Using Choose Databases (located above the search boxes) you can add other databases and do one search in several at a time. Remember to use key words only.
- sometimes indexes newer articles before the MLAIB
- indexes book reviews of scholarly books and of fiction, poetry, drama, movies
- can search several indexes at once by clicking on “Choose databases” above the search box(es)
- good place to start doing research for topics that go beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries
Project Muse Collection of peer-reviewed scholarly journals, for the most part newer issues. You can browse by journal title or search.
JSTOR Contains more journals than Project Muse but, in many cases, does not have the newer issues because publishers were allowed to blockade from 1-10 years of their recent issues. Even with that restriction, JSTOR is a treasure trove.