Use an encyclopedia, dictionary, browse popular magazines, view a new book shelf in the library or bookstore, brainstorm with your classmates. These are a few ways to think of a topic for research. Then explore the library's digital and print resources to learn more.
"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?
Thought experiments to try:
You can combine these ideas, "What were the major impacts of WWII on immigrants in the U.S, in the decade after the war?"
Take a look at our brief tutorial on topic selection and narrowing. (Slides 5-9 of the tutorial deal with topic narrowing.)
Social work dictionary (5th ed.) / Barker, Robert L. Washington, DC : NASW Press, c2003.
HV12 .B37 2003
Dictionary of Psychology from Oxford Reference Online
Concise Oxford English Spanish Dictionary (also links to Spanish/English Dictionary)
Key words in multicultural interventions : a dictionary / Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1999.
BF637.C6 K493 1999
Blackwell dictionary of modern social thought / Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., c2003.
H41 .B53 2003
English Spanish Dictionary of Health Related Terms, California Mexico Health Initiative, 2005.
Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.
UCB: Use OskiCat to find books related to your topic at UC Berkeley. Oskicat will show you where it's located, and will also show you the Library of Congress Subject Heading -- which can help you find material other relevant books.
UC: Not enough books at Berkeley? Use Melvyl to find more books at other campuses in the UC system. Clickon the REQUEST button (in the detailed view of a catalog record) to request the item through Interlibrary Loan.
Google Books: Library catalogs don't search inside of books. Google Books can help you identify the book you need, then click on "Find in a Library" to see if we have it.
APA e-book collection Current e-books published by the American Psychological Association from 2009 to date.
ebrary Berkeley's largest e-book collection, with thousands of titles on a wide range of subjects, including social work, education and psychology. Some advanced ebrary features require downloading reader software.
Wiley Online Library Ebook Collection Fulltext books in social welfare and psychology from 2011.
MIT CogNet E-books in cognitive and brain sciences published by MIT.
We have hundreds of research databases which help you find articles (and more) on a wide variety of topics. They are organized according to academic discipline, by name, or by type of database (dissertations, e-books, etc.)
Core resources for Social Welfare:
Sometimes the database you search doesn't link to the fulltext -- it only gives the citation. Click the button to see if Berkeley has it online, and if not, it will check for a print version. And if we don't have it at all, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.
What if there isn't a button??? Sometimes you find an article in a bibliography, a book or a footnote -- and you want to see if we have it. The Citation Linker searches through our online databases to see if it's available fulltext. If not, it sets up a search for the paper journal in Melvyl. And if we don't have it at Berkeley, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.
Have a citation? Go directly to the article! Use Citation Linker.
Get immediate access to journal articles, books and other publications (or request them when they are not available) by entering a title and other citation information.
When a publication is available online: The UC-eLinks window will provide a link to the publisher's web site that should contain the full text of the publication if UC (systemwide or your home campus) subscribes to the electronic version of the publication.
When a publication is not available online: The UC-eLinks window will offer other options such as the ability to check campus library holdings in the Melvyl Catalog (and where you can sometimes find that items ARE available online), or to Request the item via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) if UC (systemwide or your home campus) does not subscribe to the electronic version of the publication.
Three citation management tools widely used at UC Berkeley are RefWorks, Endnote, and Zotero. Each organizes citations and produces quick and easy bibliographies in many citation styles, including APA 6th. Learn about other citation and writing tools on the EDP Library's Citation Management webpage.
RefWorks is free for UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff. From many of UC’s databases, importing citations is seamless and easy. Create correctly cited bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations. New users can sign up at RefWorks. Find tutorials and tips for using RefWorks on the EDP Library webpage.
Use the APA Publication Manual 6th edition in the EDP Library. See the APA Style tab above for more information.
Widely cited journals and articles.
ISI Web of Knowledge - Social science citation index provides a "Cited Reference Search" feature which can be searched by cited author, work or year. The ISI database provides "cited by" information on its search results page. ISI's Journal Citation Reports will find a current list of most highly cited journals. It should be noted, however, that ISI is evaluating a highly selective group of journal titles. For example, only 130 education titles, 36 special education titles, and 49 educational psychology titles, a relatively small selection given the large number of journals published in education. See the journal list at ISI WOS for specific titles.
Google Scholar also provides on their initial search results screen a “cited by” link with the total number of citations. Similarly, the CSA Illumina interface provides on their search results page, "cited by" links for more recent psychology articles.
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!
You can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your laptop or other mobile device using one of two simple methods:
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. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.
Education Psychology Library - 2600 Tolman Hall.
Circulation: (510) 642-4209. Reference: (510) 642-2475
Social Welfare Library - 227 Haviland Hall.
Circulation and Reference: (510) 642-4432
DOE Library- Central Campus
Circulation: (510) 643-4331. Reference: (510)-642-6657
Bioscience Library - 2101 Valley Life Sciences Building # 6500.
Circulation: (510) 642-2531. Reference: (510) 642-0456
Public Health Library - 1 University Hall, #7360
Circulation and Reference: (510) 642-2511
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