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.
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The UC Berkeley History Collection News blog will keep you informed of new digital collections, trials of resources, workshops, events related to History collections, and other news of interest to researchers in History. Options for accessing the blog include:
Articles are published in scholarly journals, newspapers and popular magazines. Think about the type of information you need for your paper, who would write about your topic and where those articles would be published. This will save you time by ensuring that you begin your research in the right place.
Female college students with eating disorders.
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Magazines like Time or Scientific American, newspapers, (most) books, government documents, and websites are not peer-reviewed, though they may be thoroughly edited and fact-checked.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 the article databases and library catalogs, your search strategy should include combining keywords that represent the main concepts of your topic. Take a couple minutes to think about your topic and keywords to use in your searches.
Suppose you're starting with the thesis: “Global warming is having adverse impacts on agriculture in America.” What keywords might be used to search for relevant sources?
Break your question down into its major concept terms:
global warming | impacts | agriculture | America
Think of synonyms and variations of your keywords to use when searching. You should go through this quick exercise because you may find out that while you use the word “global warming,” the database you’re searching uses “climate change.” Using synonyms guarantees that you’re casting a wider net.
Construct a search using your keywords, combining them with AND and OR
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.
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.
America History & Life is the best database to use when looking for academic journal articles in the field of American and Canadian history. While Historical Abstracts is the best database to use when looking for academic journal articles in the field of modern world history (after 1450).
When accommodating variations in spelling, you can use wildcard characters represented by question mark ? or a pound sign #.
Use ? to replace a single character. Example: ne?t to find all citations containing neat, nest or next.
Use # when an alternate spelling may contain an extra character. Example: colo#r to find all citations containing color or colour.
Use the truncation symbol * (asterisk) to look for variant endings of a word. Example: comput* to find the words computer or computing.
Use “quotation marks” to search for an exact phrase.
You can also view a tutorial on Advanced Search in America: History and Life.
Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject > H > History > America: History and Life
mexican* (select a field- optional)
immigra* (select a field - optional)
econom* (select a field - optional)
historical period from: 1920 to 1940
american identit* (select a field- optional)
immigra* (select a field - optional)
assimil* or accultural* (select a field - optional)
historical period from: 1900 to 2000
Watch: America: History and Life - the Movie! (2 min 34 seconds)
Library home > Articles > General Article Databases > JSTOR
REMEMBER: JSTOR doesn't include articles from the last 3-5 years!!!
2. to narrow your search further, add another search term, or try searching for your terms in the titles of the articles:
immigra* (item title)
irish (item title)
advanced search also allows you to limit to certain years of publication (1980-2000, for example), to specific disciplines (ex: African American studies) etc.
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:
Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, violating the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct. The campus issues a guide to understanding plagiarism, which states:
"Plagiarism means using another's work without giving credit. You must put others' words in quotation marks and cite your source(s). Citation must also be given when using others' ideas, even when those ideas are paraphrased into your own words."
Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic and student conduct rules and is punishable with a failing grade and possibly more severe action.
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.
The Chicago Manual of Style includes two slightly different documentation systems: (1) notes and bibliography (NB) and (2) author-date. The notes and bibliography style is preferred by many in literature, history, and the arts.
In the NB system, you mark within your paper where you have cited something by adding a number, which refers to a detailed reference either at the bottom of the page (footnote) or at the end of the paper (endnote). These notes indicate the specific place in your source you are referencing.
The bibliography includes complete information for each item, with the items arranged in alphabetical order by author's last name.
Purdue's Writing Lab provides an example of a paper formatted using Chicago NB style.
Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand!
It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.
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