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.
Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.
1. Read an introduction to the campus libraries for undergraduates.
2. Set up your computer for off campus access to library databases.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
Melvyl has changed as of January 2012, and now includes many more articles. Detailed Melvyl help
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:
Here are some terms you can use in OskiCat or Melvyl that may help you find books on your topic. Remember, these search engines only let you search brief information about the books - you're not searching in the full text of the books themselves! If you're not getting enough results, try leaving out some search terms, searching for a less specific topic (Joseph Conrad instead of Lord Jim) using Google Books, or asking a librarian.
An important thing to keep in mind is that OskiCat doesn't contain any articles from journals and magazines, but Melvyl does. You'll see both books and articles in your Melvyl search results - use the left sidebar to focus your results to just the types of material that you're looking for.
All of these terms are Library of Congress subject headings -- which means you'll get the most complete results if you enter them exactly as typed. Using the default Keyword search in OskiCat will usually give you the best results.Read more
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:
Since the UC Berkeley Libraries have a world-class collection used by scholars who speak and read many languages, you may see many non-English titles in your search results. If you prefer to see only English-language materials, you can limit your search results in OskiCat or Melvyl by language.
In OskiCat: After you search, click on the or the button (near the top of the page). Under Languages, select English on the pull-down menu, then click the Submit button. (You can also select more than one language by holding down the Ctrl key on a PC, or the Command key on a Mac.)
In Melvyl: After you search, look for the "refine your search" sidebar () on the left side of your search results page. Scroll down to see an option to limit your results by language.
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.
For more information, watch this video tutorial (about 4 min.)
You can also set up UC-eLinks to work with Google Scholar. For more information, watch this 40-second demo.
These databases index mostly peer-reviewed journals in the field of history. To see the full text of articles, use the UC-eLinks button.
Can't find an article database in this guide that's relevant for your topic? Use the Library's Article Databases by Subject page to find and search recommended databases for your subject area. Or try the general Find Articles page to see a complete listing of all article databases, including news databases and book and film review databases.
Your instructor may want you to use scholarly (or "peer-reviewed") sources. What does this mean?
There are two main types of scholarly sources:
Scholarly sources are:
Popular sources, on the other hand, are intended for the general public. These sources are more introductory, may not be written by experts in a field, and often do not cite any other sources. Examples of popular magazines include National Geographic, The Economist, Time, Newsweek, and People.
How can you tell if an article or book is scholarly? Look for:Read more
In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when
This content is part of the Understanding Plagiarism tutorial created by the Indiana University School of Education.
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!
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.
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 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.
"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.
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