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...
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 tips for finding literary analysis in this tab.
Review suggested resources section of this tab.
Visit the library homepage and select a resource whose content matches the kind of materials you are seeking to find. Choose one 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 it 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.
see search tips section of this tab for help (as needed)
Examine promising results.
remember to note the information you'll need if you end up citing 'em
to find books with chapters on your topic
to find periodicals you've already identified as having articles on your topic
Article databases (by SUBJECT)
to identify article and essay content on your topic
to identify current research
to identify research focused on an aspect of a topic
to search for publications from a specific discipline: literature, philosophy, gender and women's studies, etc.
for the subject of literature...
MLA is a major database for locating literary analysis/criticism
Modern Language Association's international bibliography
tabbed setup lets you view results by type of publication
can limit by language
use UC-eLinks to locate result text
Article databases (the GENERAL category)
often have popular sources (magazine & news) as well scholarly ones
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, etc.
look at the records of relevant results -- do their subjects suggest other search terms?
important: subject terms are defined by the Library of Congress, and are often not what you would expect. Examine relevant results to discover how your topic, time period, location, people, etc., is defined subject-wise. Once you know, you can use that terminology to search for other materials on a topic.
to find literary analysis, try adding the term criticism to a 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 elizabethan and society elizabethan* and custom* william shakespeare and criticism hamlet and criticism stanley kubrick and criticism eugene o'neill and biography
author search - finds books by, interviews with, correspondence... [use the specified syntax last name, first name]
limit by language[use modify search button]
limit by material type [change the default search of Entire Collection to a specific part of the collection: Journals/Magazines/Newspapers, Films/Videos...]
search too broad ? [use Modify button to set limits]
Using an appropriate article database is a must for locating articles or chapters on a topic:
Very specific searches (specific focus about a specific character in a specific work) may not net the desired results. It's always worth trying for a direct bullseye, but sometimes you need to adjust your aim.
Search for analysis about the book, play, etc.,being written about. You'll see what others are focusing on. You may find they use other terms for your focus that can be searched to increase your result pool.
Search for analysis about the author of the book, play, etc., being written about. Your focus may be a thematic/technical element that shows up repeatedly in their work. Materials that focus on authorial concerns may include information about your work, or be relevant to your analysis of it.
When using the library catalog, try adding the term criticism to searches for material aboutan author, literary movement, or time period(see catalog search tips for examples).
In addition to looking for articles targeting a topic, if books have been written about your author's work, examining the table of contents and indexes of promising ones may help isolate chapters of relevance.
hint: when an author is well known and been written about for a long time, you may find many article database results focus upon your author's influence on later works of literature, by other authors. When this is the case, and, if it is not what you want, books can provide a way to get at literary analysis focusing more directly on your author & their work.
If the overall goal is to find analysis of an author's ideas and influence, and he/she is a philosopher, theologian, psychologist -- or the subject of inquiry in a discipline besides literature -- you may also wish to explore the recommended databases for that subject.
note: whether this approach is helpful, depends on your specific needs and the kind of analysis you seek -- an article on Camus in a philosophy journal will use a different lens to examine his work than that used by a literary journal.