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.
All libraries on campus are equipped with "bookscan stations," which allow you to:
Scanning to a USB drive is free. Moffitt Copy Center sells flash drives.
Scanning documents to print is 8 cents a page (color printing: 60 cents a page).
In order to send documents to the printer from any of the public computers in the libraries, you must have the following:
Have more questions? There's more info here.
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
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 (nikolai gogol instead of the diary of a madman) 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:
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:
Many scholarly books consist of essays written by different authors and gathered together into one volume. This means that each essay gets its own chapter, so each chapter has a different author; the book itself has one or more editors. OskiCat and Melvyl often (but not always) list the tables of contents of books like this, so you'll be able to find book chapters by individual chapter titles or authors by doing a simple Keyword search.
If you want to get fancy: In OskiCat, click the Advanced Keyword Search tab, and change the pulldown menu in the first search box (where it says Any Field:) to Note:. This means your search words will ONLY search within the table-of-contents notes in OskiCat. Put your search words in the Note: field (e.g., bulgakov). This means that you will get both book chapters BY Bulgakov and ABOUT Bulgakov, but it will help you narrow down your search.
Article databases (databases that index the contents of scholarly journals) usually also contain the titles and authors of book chapters, if the book is the type that has a different author for each chapter. Try MLA and limit your search to "Book Article," (this is their term for book chapter). You can also try Literature Online, but they have no way to search for book chapters only; in your search results, you'll have to sort through articles, dissertations, and book chapters.
The Cal libraries have access to thousands of scholarly journals and hundreds of popular magazines, both electronically in and in printed format.
Not sure of the difference between a scholarly journal and a popular magazine? Journals contain articles written by experts (university professors, professional researchers) for other experts in the same field of study. Journal articles are usually very specialized and can be more difficult to read, if you are not already knowledgeable in the subject area. Magazines contain articles written by journalists or freelance writers, intended for the general public. Always check with your instructor to see if magazine articles are acceptable to use as sources for your paper!
Some good general resources for electronic magazine and journal articles are Academic Search Complete and JSTOR.
Academic Search Complete contains information about thousands of articles in magazines AND journals; limit your search to Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Journals to see only scholarly journal articles. Click "Linked Full Text" or "PDF Full Text" to read the whole article. All subject areas are included in Academic Search Complete.
JSTOR is an interdiscplinary (all subject areas) article database that includes only scholarly articles, from thousands of different scholarly journals.
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 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 brief demo (about 40 seconds.)
These databases index mostly peer-reviewed journals in the field of history. To see the full text of articles, use the UC-eLinks button.
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.
Names and other words can be transliterated several ways from the Cyrillic to the Roman alphabet.
Different databases may use different forms of a name:
ABSEES database: Dostoevsky, Fyodor
MLA database: Dostoevskiĭ, Fedor Mikhaĭlovich
OskiCat and other library catalogs: Dostoyevsky, Fyodor
What to do when you don't know the right form?
Examples in OskiCat:
Dostoevsky - common English version
has this subject tag: Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Dostoevskii - direct transliteration from the Russian
has this subject tag: Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881 -- Influence.
Dostoyevsky - standardized form of the name for library catalogs
The same general technique applies to other languages and other databases, as long as they use standardized names.
Unsure how to start a paper or research project? Think maybe you could stand to brush up on search strategies?
If this sounds familiar, Library Workshop: Research 101 has you covered. This interactive tutorial explores six stages of the research process. You can view it from start to finish, or focus on specific sections as needed:
Starting strategies, from choosing a topic to finding the right keywords.
The publication timeline, scholarly vs. popular sources, and differences in academic disciplines.
Search for books and other items in OskiCat, Cal's local library catalog.
Locate and access articles in library research databases.
How to cite your sources correctly.
Common techniques for constructing searches that yield useful results.
Specialized search strategies for targeting specific topics.
"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?
You can combine these ideas, "What were the major impacts of WWII on women in France, in the decade after the war?"
More ideas in our brief tutorial on topic selection and narrowing.
Your instructor may want you to use "peer reviewed" articles as sources for your paper. Or you may be asked to find "academic," "scholarly," or "refereed" articles. What do these terms mean?
Let's start with the terms academic and scholarly, which are synonyms. An academic or scholarly journal is one intended for a specialized or expert audience. Journals like this exist in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Examples include Nature, Journal of Sociology, and Journal of American Studies. Scholarly/academic journals exist to help scholars communicate their latest research and ideas to each other; they are written "by experts for experts."
Most scholarly/academic journals are peer reviewed; another synonym for peer reviewed is refereed. Before an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal, it's evaluated for quality and significance by several specialists in the same field, who are "peers" of the author. The article may go through several revisions before it finally reaches publication.
Magazines like Time or Scientific American, newspapers, (most) books, government documents, and websites are not peer-reviewed, though they may be thoroughly edited and fact-checked. Articles in scholarly journals (in printed format or online) usually ARE peer-reviewed.
How can you tell if an article is both scholarly and peer-reviewed?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!
"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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