LEGALST R1B: Legal Rights, Science and Society

Contact Your Librarian

  • Jennifer Dorner

  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Office Location: 212/218 Doe Library
  • Contact Info:

    510.768.7059 or Skype ucblib.jdorner
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About this Guide

Hillary Berk

Encyclopedias

Using specialized encyclopedias to become familiar with your topic is the most efficient way to get started on your research. These encyclopedias, written by knowledgeable scholars, will summarize your topic, provide you with social and historical context, familiarize you with specialized terminology, and often provide lists of additional resources on your topic. They are providing you in condensed form information from multiple books and articles. Think of them as CliffsNotes ... that you are allowed to use.

The encyclopedias listed below may be useful for many of the topics suggested by your instructor, but there are many, many more. The easiest way to locate them in the Library is to do an Oskicat search like this:

Search example

1. Use the keyword search so that it looks for the words everywhere in the record.
2. The asterisk is a truncation symbol, which will retrieve variations of the word: ethic, ethics, ethical, etc.
3. The Doe Reference collection includes many encyclopedias and limiting your search to this collection will retrieve a manageable number of records. If you retrieve nothing, change the search parameter to All Collections, or limit it to a subject specialty library.

Try different terminology and be persistent. If you are not finding a relevant resource, be sure to ask for help.

 

Specialized Databases

General Article Databases

Databases are collections of thousands of articles (and often book chapters, book reviews, conference proceedings, dissertations, and other items) organized by subject. The Libraries have hundreds of databases covering every academic discipline. Some are multi-disciplinary, covering a broad range of subjects and including popular and scholarly sources, and others are subject-specific, and include scholarly and specialized articles. A complete list is available at Find Articles.

The following multi-disciplinary databases are good places to start your research:

Where's the PDF?

Once you've used an article database to find articles on your topic, you may need to use  orange logo in order to locate and read the full text of the article. The UC-eLinks button or link 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.

uc-elinks window

For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks. Click on the image below to watch a brief (less than a minute) video on how to enable UC-eLinks in Google Scholar.

google scholar window

Google Books

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:

Google Book Search

Searching Library Catalogs

oskicat logo

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. More OskiCat help.

melvyl logo

 

 

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. Detailed Melvyl help.

In every catalog you use, not the name of the physical library, call number, and whether or not the item is checked out, library use only, etc.

Call numbers are usually located on the spine of the book; learn how to read them so you can easily find what you need on the shelves.

Newspapers

Legal Research

Researching the law involves discovering judicial cases, statutes and codes, executive orders, congressional hearings, legislative history, administrative regulations and much more.  Although many resources are available via open access online through government and other portals, the UCB Library has purchased several resources that permit more in-depth and historical research.

See also the Legal Research Guide at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/subject-guide/107-Legal-Studies-Research-Guide

Quick Links

Library web site header

Read an introduction to the campus libraries for undergraduates.

Set up your computer for off campus access to library databases.

Need a map of the campus libraries?

Each library has its own hours.  Click on the calendar for each library to view a month at a time.

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 (examples of research topics).

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.

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.

 

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