Library Workshop: Research 101
Unsure how to start a paper or research project? Think maybe you could stand to brush up on search strategies?
If this sounds familiar, Library Workshop: Research 101 has you covered. This interactive tutorial explores six stages of the research process. You can view it from start to finish, or focus on specific sections as needed:
Starting strategies, from choosing a topic to finding the right keywords.
The publication timeline, scholarly vs. popular sources, and differences in academic disciplines.
Search for books and other items in OskiCat, Cal's local library catalog.
Locate and access articles in library research databases.
How to cite your sources correctly.
Common techniques for constructing searches that yield useful results.
Specialized search strategies for targeting specific topics.
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 "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Magazines like Time or Scientific American, newspapers, (most) books, government documents, and websites are not peer-reviewed, though they may be thoroughly edited and fact-checked.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
Keywords - Brainstorming
Developing appropriate keywords/search terms is an essential part of research. First, break your topic into components. Develop a list of synonyms and alternative terminology for each component. Think about broader and narrower concepts and word variants. What words can you exclude?
Topic: Image of African American Women in Advertising
image(s) or stereotyp(es)(ing) or depict(ion) or portray(al)...
african american(s) or black(s) or minorit(y)(ies)
women or gender
advertis(e)(ing) or media
Remember to be creative with your terminology! More examples:
people of color and environmental activism*
environmental justice and hazardous waste*
Brainstorming Academic Disciplines
Topic: Image of African American women in advertising
potentially relevant disciplines:
African American Studies
Gender and Women's Studies
Background Sources about UC Berkeley
The following titles are just examples of sources for background information on the campus. Click on the titles to view the OskiCat record, including library location, call number and availability.
Research Guide: UC Berkeley Buildings and Campus (from the Environmental Design Library)
UC Berkeley Buildings, Features & Sites (from the Environmental Design Library)