4. Each library has its own hours and they may change on holidays and between semesters - click on the calendar for each library to view a month at a time.
5. Information about citing your sources and links to guides for frequently used citation styles here.
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.
Beyond the Web
"It's all free on the Internet, right? Why should I go through the library's website to find sources for my paper?"
The Web is a great source for free, publicly available information. However, the Library pays for thousands of electronic books, journals, and other information resources that are available only to the campus community. Through the Library website, you can access hundreds of different licensed databases containing journal articles, electronic books, maps, images, government and legal information, current and historical newspapers, digitized primary sources, and more.
You access these resources through the Internet, using a browser like Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer -- but these databases are not part of the free, public Web. Resources like Lexis-Nexis, Web of Science, Academic Search Complete, and ARTstor are "invisible" to Google. You will not see results from most library databases in the results of a Google search.
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:
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?
Is the article about a very specialized topic? Is it written for a knowledgeable, expert audience, or does it seem to be written for the beginner or general public?
Does the article have an abstract or summary at the beginning? Are there footnotes or endnotes? Is there a list of references?
Does the article present the author's original research?
Is it peer-reviewed? Look at the journal:
What journal was the article published in? Look on the journal's website (or inside the front cover of a printed copy) for a description of the journal. Is it described as "peer-reviewed" or "refereed"?
Try looking up the journal's title in ulrichsweb.com (an online database of information about magazines and journals). If it's a peer-reviewed source, a referee's jersey icon will be shown next to the title:
If you're still not sure, ask your instructor or a librarian.
Want to learn more? Watch a tutorial about identifying peer-reviewed sources on the Web.
How to Narrow Your Topic
"I'm writing a paper on World War II."
Often students start their research with a very general topic, even though they may realize the topic is too large to deal with in a 10-15 page paper. Faculty and librarians tell them, "You have to narrow this down." But how do you narrow a topic?
What discipline am I working in? If you are in a sociology class, ask a sociological question about World War II, like "How did WWII affect women?" If it's a political science class, your question might be something like "How did WWII affect presidential elections in the US?"
What are some subsets or aspects of your topic. Some good aspects are:
by place, such as a country or region
by time period, such as a century, decade or year
by population, such as men, women, ethnic group, youth, children or elderly
You can combine these ideas, "What were the major impacts of WWII on women in France, in the decade after the war?"
Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own.
Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide. You can use the Request button to request an item from another library, if we don't own it.
Using Melvyl (but not OskiCat) you can find articles as well as books, easily format a citation for copying into a bibliography, and see images of book covers, when available. Melvyl will also show you the location and availablity of items that we own.
Google Books contains millions of scanned books, from libraries and publishers worldwide. You can search the entire text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books that are still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright (pre-1923) books. Want to read the entire text of an in-copyright book? Use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.
Why use Google Books?
Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.). Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information. Try it now:
ebrary = ebooks
ebrary is our largest collection of full text ebooks, with nearly 50,000 titles on a wide range of subjects. Find them in the UCB catalog, OskiCat (keyword: ebrary or limit to "Available Online"), or search the ebrary site directly:
Literature Resource Center (LRC) Includes biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of more than 120,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and other writers. Scope is international. Full text.
Project MUSE Several hundred scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Topics include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others.
JSTOR Easy to use, full text, multi-disciplinary scholarly article database. Note: the most recent 3-5 years of the journals are usually not available through JSTOR.
Academic Search Complete A multi-disciplinary database that includes both scholarly and popular articles. Most articles have pdfs.
Literature Online Includes more than 350,000 works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, 131 full-text literature journals, and other key criticism and reference resources. Includes reference works on literary criticism and biographical information.
Media History Databases
America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts index scholarly articles published in history journals. The rest of these databases provide access to digitized primary sources, including images, motion pictures, newspaper articles, letters, diaries, and more.
America: History and Life Indexes over 2,000 journals published worldwide on the history of the US and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes all key English-language historical journals; selected historical journals from major countries, state, and local history journals; and a targeted selection of hundreds of journals in the social sciences and humanities.
Historical Abstracts Indexes over 2,000 journals, as well as historical book reviews and dissertations, published worldwide about all aspects of world history (excluding US and Canada) from 1450 to the present. Articles covered were written from 1954 to thepresent
American Memory Motion Pictures Collections (Library of Congress) A gateway to primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections. Includes a sampling of early American films, including works by the Edison Company, recordings of vaudeville and other popular entertainments, early animated films; recordings of early 20th Century presidents, and scenes of American work and leisure, 1894-1915.
Calisphere Gateway to digitized images from the libraries and museums of 10 University of California campuses and more than 100 cultural heritage organizations in California. Includes more than 150,000 photographs, diaries, documents, oral histories and other resources. Serves as a single point of access for more than 300 UC-created websites and collections.
Online Archive of California (OAC) A searchable and browseable resource that brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions, including museums, historical societies, and archives. Contains over 120,000 images; 50,000 pages of documents, letters, and oral histories; and 8,000 guides to collections. Images are organized into thematic and institutional collections, such as historical topics, nature, places, and technology.
Many article databases contain information about articles (citations or abstracts), not the entire text of the article. Once you've used an article database to find articles on your topic, you may need to use this button: in order to locate and read the full text of the article. The UC-eLinks button appears in nearly all the databases available from the UCB Library website.
UC-eLinks will link you to the online full text of an article if UCB has paid for online access; otherwise, UC-eLinks will help you locate a print copy on the shelf in the library. If UCB doesn't own the article in print or online format, UC-eLinks can also help you order a copy from another library.
You can also set up UC-eLinks to work with Google Scholar. For more information, watch this video tutorial (about 2 min.)
Art Images and Art History Databases
ARTstor A repository of more than 1 million digital images and associated catalog data. The collection is designed to be used by students and faculty for teaching and research in art history, as well as many other disciplines. Includes several collections such as: The Mellon International Dunhuang Archive; Native American Art and Culture from the Smithsonian; the Hartill Archive of Architecture and Allied Arts, etc. Short instructional videos are available online. See: Intro to the new ARTstor, Downloading images to PowerPoint, Batch download tool, and Making an image group.
Grove Art Online Online version of the 34-volume Grove Dictionary of Art; also includes The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms,Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and
The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Contains articles on every aspect of visual arts including painting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture, decorative arts and photography. Also includes biographical information on major artists, bibliographical references and links to images. (Part of the Oxford Art Online suite.)
Art Full Text Indexes over 300 international publications, including journals, yearbooks, museum bulletins, film reviews, bibliographies, conference reports, review articles, interviews and exhibition listings, in a variety of languages. Covers the fields of archaeology, architecture, art history, city planning, computer applications and graphics, crafts, film, folk art, graphic arts, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, museology, painting, photography, sculpture, television, textiles, and video.
ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) Indexes journals, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, dissertations, and exhibition reviews. Coverage extends from artists and movements beginning with Impressionism in the late 19th century, up to the most recent works and trends in the late 20th century. Photography is covered from its invention in 1839 to the present.
Art Index Retrospective Indexes publications in the fields of archaeology, architecture, art history, city planning, computer applications and graphics, crafts, film, folk art, graphic arts, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, museology, painting, photography, sculpture, television, textiles, and video. Includes citations to art reproductions. Provides citations from Volumes 1-32 of the print counterpart, Art Index.
Databases for Film Studies
The MLA Bibliography can also be a good source for film criticism, particularly for films that were adapted from novels.
Film and Television Literature Index with Full Text Indexes 150 scholarly and popular periodicals from 30 countries cover-to-cover and 300 other periodicals selectively for reviews and articles on the topic film and television. Search by keyword, production title and more or browse by some 2000 subject headings.
FIAF: International Index to Film Periodicals Indexes scholarly and popular journals, books, book reviews, and proceedings worldwide on a wide range of topics within the fields of film and television studies. Includes complete data from all volumes of the International Index to Film Periodicals (1972 to the present), the TV-related companion (1979 to the present), the annual volumes of the International Index to Film.
Film Index International Indexes almost 100,000 international feature films and shorts, Hollywood entertainment shorts, documentaries, and television movies from all over the world. Includes references to critical and industry articles on films, articles on personalities from approximately 260 international film/TV journals, information about film awards and prizes, and searchable plot summaries with cast and crew lists. This database is produced in collaboration with the British Film Institute.
Media Resources Center
The Media Resources Center (MRC) is the UC Berkeley Library's primary collection of materials in audio and visual formats. These formats include videocassettes, DVDs, compact audio discs, audiocassettes, and online (streamed) audio and video.
See the MRC's website for a very detailed listing of films in their collection, by topic; this is a great resource for American/cultural studies, gender studies, ethnic studies, dance and performance studies, and many other subjects. Click on Collections to start browsing.
The Media Resources Center is located on the 1st floor (basement) of Moffitt Library but has shorter hours of operation than Moffitt. You can view MRC materials in the MRC viewing rooms, but the materials cannot be checked out.
Theater, Dance and Performance
International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance with Full Text Online version of the Theatre Research Data Center's International Bibliography of Theatre. Includes full text of more than 100 journals and over 100 reference books on performance, and indexing of academic journals, magazines, newspapers, dissertations, and monographs from
over 125 countries.
International Index to Performing Arts (IIPA) Indexes over 200 scholarly and popular performing arts periodicals, documents, biographical profiles, conference papers, obituaries, interviews, discographies, and reviews. Covers a broad spectrum of the arts and entertainment industry including dance, film, television, drama, theater, stagecraft, musical theater, broadcast arts, circus performance, comedy, storytelling, opera, pantomime, puppetry, magic and more.
MLA International Bibliography Indexes journal articles, series, monographs, dissertations, bibliographies, proceedings and other materials supporting critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore. Sponsored by the Modern Language Association.
Citing Your Sources - a brief online guide to the main citation styles and a brief discussion on what constitutes plagiarism.
MLA handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th edition. New York : Modern Language Association of America, 2009. Doe Reference Reference Hall LB2369 .G53 2009 Main Gardner Stacks LB2369 .G53 2009 Many older editions available throughout the UCB libraries.
In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when
You use another person's ideas, opinions, or theories.
You use facts, statistics, graphics, drawings, music, etc., or any other type of information that does not comprise common knowledge.
You use quotations from another person's spoken or written word.
You paraphrase another person's spoken or written word.
Begin the writing process by stating your ideas; then go back to the author's original work.
Use quotation marks and credit the source (author) when you copy exact wording.
Use your own words (paraphrase) instead of copying directly when possible.
Even when you paraphrase another author's writings, you must give credit to that author.
If the form of citation and reference are not correct, the attribution to the original author is likely to be incomplete. Therefore, improper use of style can result in plagiarism. Get a style manual and use it.
The figure below may help to guide your decisions.
Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, organize and store your PDFs, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but all are easier than doing it by hand!
Zotero: A free plug-in for the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service. Zotero is also available as a stand-alone application that syncs with Chrome and Safari, or as a bookmarklet for mobile browsers.
RefWorks - web-based and free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies, then works with Word to help you format references and a bibliography for your paper. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
EndNote: Desktop software for managing your references and formatting bibliographies. You can purchase EndNote from the Cal Student Store.
Tip: After creating a bibliography with a citation management tool, it's always good to double check the formatting; sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.
Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat
You do allow embedded content.
You can type your question directly into this chat window to chat with a librarian. Your question may be answered by a reference librarian from Berkeley, from another UC campus, or another academic library elsewhere in the US. We share information about our libraries to make sure you get good answers.
If the librarian can't answer you well enough, your question will be referred to a Berkeley librarian for follow-up.
Have fun chatting!
Research Advisory Service
Research Advisory Service for Cal Undergraduates
Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics.
Schedule, view, edit or cancel your appointment online (CalNetID required)
This service is for Cal undergraduates only. Graduate students and faculty should contact the library liaison to their department or program for specialized reference consultations.
All Questions Welcomed!
"There are no dumb questions!"
That's the philosophy of reference librarians, who are here to save you time and trouble. If you get stuck, you can talk to a reference librarian at any campus library.