some contain scholarly articles, some magazine articles, some news, etc.
often include more than articles (chapters in books, etc.)
a few more points...
results identify where articles were published (name of publication and associated volume/issue/date information)
results do notequal what UCB owns !
results sometimes link to article text
use UC-eLinks when article text is not available
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 free encyclopedia is publicly editable and not a scholarly resource. Because anyone can write or add to an entry, the information may be innacurate or untrue. Through the very structure of its creation, it has dependability issues. Yet, it can still be a useful tool, if used wisely.
Like other encyclopedias, it can be helpful in obtaining topical background, and entries often list sources for further reading (which you can then see if UCB has). Use Wikipedia as a starting point for information you will verify in the course of your research via scholarlysources.
Research is as credible as the work that goes into it! It's important to analyze the information you find, including where it comes from.
help developing search strategies (for humanities and social sciences topics)
Schedule (view/edit) an appointment online [CalNetID required]
How to use this tab
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 pulling it together 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 information in Choosing a Resource tab. Make sure you understand how the identified resources differ in the types of information and materials they provide.
Review tips for finding historical background or literary analysis, if you are seeking those kinds of materials.
Review the list of suggested resources, in this tab
Select a resource whose content matches the kind of materials you are seeking to find and whose disciplinary focus maps to your topic (i.e. publications in that field are likely to be writing about your topic).
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 that might help you refine your focus
Examine promising results (remember to note the information you'll need if you end up citing them)
to find books on your topic
to find periodicals you've identified as having articles on your topic
Use article databases
to identify article and essay content on your topic
to identify research focused on an aspect of a topic
to identify current research
... subject specific ones
for publications from a specific discipline
history, literature, gender & women's studies, etc.
America: History and life (US, Canada) and Historical Abstracts (rest of the world) are two recommended databases for historical research
can limit to results that focus on a time period
can refine search to specific types of publications
can limit by language
use UC-eLinks to locate result text
MLA is a recommended database for literary criticism
can limit by type of publication
can limit by language
use UC-eLinks to locate result text
... general (interdisciplinary) ones
Academic Search Complete
popular and scholarly content (good for popular culture topics, magazine/news content in addition to academic journals)
some results available online
has UC-eLinks feature
strength is scholarly journal literature
use UC-eLinks to get full text
however... you must enable UC-eLinks in Google Scholar [via Settings gear > Library links]
full text resource
use advanced search (to narrow to specific discipline, and set limits)
Other resources: subject encyclopedias
to get background on a topic and/or biographical information on a person
Link path = Library homepage > Electronic Resources > By Subject link > your subject > use left sidebar to link to types of resources for that subject.
For literature, try the following encyclopedia: Literature Resource Center
for biographical data, use Author Search (in tabbed results see biographies)
criticism included for some authors (but content is limited)
additionally, it may help to limit searches by language
tips for catalog searching
to find materials about a topic...
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
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 not always what you would expect. Examine relevant results to discover how your topic, time period, people, etc., is defined. Use that terminology to search for other materials on that subject.
for literary analysis, try adding the term criticism to your other search terms (to find materials about an author or literary movement -- see example, below)
try adding terms for specific types of materials, encyclopedias, biographies, to your search terms (to locate those types of resources -- see example, below)
sample keyword searches... norwegian american norwegian and united states norwegian* immigra* norwegian* america* and wom* norwegian american and social conditions lutheran and united states and 19th century norwegian* america* and literature norwegian* america* and criticism norwegian* america* and biograph*
author search (for a person) - finds books by, interviews with, correspondence... [use specified syntax last name, first name]
limit by material type - change default search of Entire Collection to seach by type -- i.e. Journals/Magazines/Newspapers, Films/Videos...
search too broad ? Use Modify button to add limits.
Not already knowldegeable about the time period, social or cultural background? Consider starting with an encyclopedia entry.
Journal articles tend to focus on specific aspects of a specific topic. If you are looking for a broad overview of a historical time or social situation, books might be the ticket:
their table of contents and indexes will help you isolate the parts of interest
OskiCat will help you locate books at UCB
some article databases also contain results for books/book chapters in addition to articles in their subject area
Finding literary analysis
Using an appropriate article database is a must for identifying 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 worth trying for a direct bullseye, but you may 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.
If the overall goal is to find analysis of an author's ideas and influence, and he/she is a philosopher, theologian, psychologist, visual artist, etc. -- you may also wish to explore recommended databases for associated subject areas.
In addition to looking for articles, if books have been written about your author/work, examining the table of contents and indexes of promising titles may help isolate chapters of relevance.
When using the library catalog, try adding the term criticism to searches for materials aboutan author, literary movement, or time period(see OskiCat search tips, in this tab, for examples).