Each database contains a unique aggregate of sources (though, a specific source may appear in several databases). Some databases contain scholarly articles, some magazine literature, some news. Some contain it all. Article databases often include more than articles (chapters in books, etc.)
A few more things you should know about article databases...
- results identify where articles were published (name of publication and any associated volume/issue/date info.) - results do not equal what UCB owns - sometimes results link to article content online - Use UC-eLinks feature when a full text option is not provided
Where is the article?
Many library databases incorporate the UC-eLinks feature. You use it when a result's text is not provided by the database searched. It checks the UC-wide collections to see if the source is available elsewhere...
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.
review information in electronic resources section, above
link to e-resources by Subject > then use left sidebar menu to link to (subject specific) encyclopedias
or, link by Type > Encyclopedias and almanacs (all of them)
This free encyclopedia is publicly editable and not a scholarly resource. Because anyone can write or add to an entry, the information may be innacurate or untrue. Through the very structure of its creation, it has dependability issues. Yet, it can still be a useful tool, if used wisely.
Like other encyclopedias, it can be helpful in obtaining topical background, and entries often list sources for further reading (which you can see if UCB has in its collections). Use Wikipedia as a starting point for information you will verify in the course of your research via scholarlysources.
Research is as credible as the work that goes into it! It's important to analyze the information you find, including where it comes from.
This course guide is created as a teaching tool and designed to be read as a unit. Doing so will provide the context for selecting the "right" resource and the techniques for manipulating it -- knowledge and skills that will support immediate and future research needs.
The notes in this tab contain suggestions about how to proceed with research based on your assignment. These suggestions build upon, and presume familiarity with, the general concepts addressed in the other tabbed sections of this course guide.
A suggested research trajectory
Review the information in the Resources tab. Make sure you understand how the identified resources differ in the types of information and/or materials they provide.
Review the suggested resources, below.
Select a resource whose content matches the kind of materials you are seeking to find and whose disciplinary focus maps to your topic (i.e. publications in that field are likely to be writing about it).
Or... choose a General (interdisciplinary) database.
Search resources to see what's been written about your topic -- or what issues others are writing about in regards to a topic/author/work that might help you refine your focus.
Examine promising results. Remember to note the information you'll need if you end up citing 'em.
find books on your topic
find the periodicals you've already identified as having articles on your topic
find encyclopedias to get background information
Article databases (by SUBJECT)
identify article and essay content on your topic
identify current research
identify research focused on an aspect of a topic
search for publications from a specific discipline
literature, African American studies, history, etc.
MLA is a recommended database for literary criticism
citation database / no full text
use UC-eLinks to locate result text
tab setup lets you review results for specific types of publications
Article databases (GENERAL)
often have popular sources (magazine & news) as well scholarly
search 2 or 3 terms representing key concepts of your focus
there isn't a search that finds everything: try different combinations of terms, synonyms, related terms
look at the records of relevant results -- do their subjects suggest other search terms
to find literary analysis, try adding the term criticism to your search for materials about an author or literary movement (see example, below)
try adding terms for specific types of materials -- encyclopedias, biographies -- to your search, to locate those types of resources (see example, below)
Sample keyword searches... hoarding obsessive-compulsive disorder compulsive behavior france and history and class capitalism and material* octavia butler and criticism kubrick and criticism eugene o'neill and biography
author search (for a person) - finds books by, interviews with, correspondence... [use specified syntax last name, first name]
limit by language - use modify search button
limit by material type - change default search of Entire Collection to seach by type -- Journals/Magazines/Newspapers, Films/Videos...
search too broad ? -- use Modify button for limits