COM LIT R1B: The Art of Murder

Off-campus Access to Library Resources

Before you can access Library resources from off campus make sure you have configured your computer with proxy server settings.

After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource.

How to Search

Power search features for most article databases:
  • Use synonyms -- there are many ways to express a concept (teenager or teenagers or adolescent)
  • Use truncation to get different forms of the word, for example teenage* will retrieve teenagersteenager,teenaged, etc.
  • Use quotation marks when you want an"exact phrase"
  • Restrict by date -- most will let you find only the most current five years if you chose that limit.

Always use Advanced Search:
  • Look for "controlled vocabulary" (also called descriptors or subject headings) that helps you identify articles that are about a topic, not just that have the word in the abstract. For example, if you are looking for the cause of a certain psychological problem, the descriptor "etiology" finds material that looks at causality.
  • Use the special "limits" or "fields" that the database offers. They really do help you make a more focused and powerful search.  Some typical limits include:
    • Publication type -- do you want articles? reviews? book chapters?
Once you get a single good article, use its subject headings or descriptors to find others like it!

Literary criticism

Watch a 40 second video on how to search Literature Research Center.

Watch a 30 second video on how to search JSTOR.

  • MLA International Bibliography
    Advanced Search baudelaire AND flowers of evil Search Too many results? Edit Search Click 'English Only'
  • Literature Resource Center (LRC)
    Advanced Search Works—Browse list Type in name of work [e.g. "around the world in eighty days" in top search box. Select the correct title from the list Click 'Search'
  • JSTOR
    Advanced Search: baudelaire AND “flowers of evil” Notice the results. Want fewer? Modify Search Click 'Add field'. Search “travel*”

Interdisciplinary databases

  • Academic Search Complete
    articles in more than 10,900 journals - scholarly and general articles
  • Project MUSE
    articles from 250 scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences.
  • JSTOR
    Includes over 1000 scholarly journals - scholarly -- not current

What is Peer Review?

Your instructor may want you to use "peer reviewed" articles as sources for your paper. Or you may be asked to find picture of thinking student"academic," "scholarly," or "refereed" articles. What do these terms mean?

Let's start with the terms academic and scholarly, which are synonyms. An academic or scholarly journal is one intended for a specialized or expert audience. Journals like this exist in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Examples include Nature, Journal of Sociology, and Journal of American Studies. Scholarly/academic journals exist to help scholars communicate their latest research and ideas to each other; they are written "by experts for experts."

Most scholarly/academic journals are peer reviewed; another synonym for peer reviewed is refereed. Before an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal, it's evaluated for quality and significance by several specialists in the same field, who are "peers" of the author. The article may go through several revisions before it finally reaches publication.

Magazines like Time or Scientific American, newspapers, (most) books, government documents, and websites are not peer-reviewed, though they may be thoroughly edited and fact-checked. Articles in scholarly journals (in printed format or online) usually ARE peer-reviewed.

How can you tell if an article is both scholarly and peer-reviewed?

Read more
Last Update: August 23, 2013 14:05