The Library Prize for Undergraduate Research recognizes excellence in undergraduate research projects that show evidence of significant inquiry using the library, its resources, and collections and learning about the research and information-gathering process itself.
Requesting Materials from Other Libraries
If UCB does not own the item you need, we will borrow it for you from another library, if possible. We need a specific citation (example, for books - title, author, date of publication, publisher; for articles, title, author, journal/publication title, date, page numbers).
If you are in MELVYL and find the record for an item UCB doesn't own, click on the "Request" button to initiate the request.
If the item isn't owned by another UC, pull down the "Libraries to search" menu in MELVYL to "Libraries Worldwide" and re-try the search. If you find the item, click on the "Request" button to initiate the request.
Topic: Image of African American women in advertising
potentially relevant disciplines:
African American Studies Gender and Women's Studies Ethnic Studies Media Studies Psychology Sociology Business etc.
Keywords - Brainstorming
Developing appropriate keywords/search terms is an essential part of research. First, break your topic into components. Develop a list of synonyms and alternative terminology for each component. Think about broader and narrower concepts and word variants. What words can you exclude?
Topic: Image of African American Women in Advertising
image(s) or stereotyp(es)(ing) or depict(ion) or portray(al)...
african american(s) or black(s) or minorit(y)(ies)
women or gender
advertis(e)(ing) or media
Remember to be creative with your terminology! More examples:
people of color and environmental activism* environmental justice environmental justice and hazardous waste* environmental equity environmental discrimination environmental racism environmental injustice
Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic. The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.
1. Think about which academic disciplines might write about your topic. Examples: literature, film, anthropology, history...
2. Find the appropriate article database by subject (academic discipline or department). Look for "Recommended" databases.
ProQuest Social Sciences An interdisciplinary metasearch through 22 of the the social sciences indexes on the ProQuest platform. Includes EconLit, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, PAIS, PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts and more.
Web of Science Indexes over 8,000 of the leading journals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, providing searching of footnoted citations. Includes the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Social Sciences Citation Index. For more guidance on using this database see the following tutorials: Creating Alerts and Creating an RSS Feed.
Academic Search Complete A multidisciplinary index to articles in more than 10,900 journals and other publications in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese; full-text is available for over 5300 journals.
Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management Indexes over 6,000 journals, conference proceedings, reports, monographs, books, and government publications covering agricultural biotechnology, air quality, aquatic pollution, bacteriology, ecology, energy resources, environmental biotechnology, environmental engineering, environmental impact statements, hazardous waste, industrial hygiene, microbiology, pollution, risk assessment, safety science, toxicology, water pollution, waste management, and water resource issues. Includes 13 subfiles such as: Ecology Abstracts, Health and Safety Science Abstracts, Pollution Abstracts and Water Resources Abstracts.
Sample Databases for Newspaper Articles
Access World News Provides full-text information and perspectives from over 600 U.S. and over 700 international sources. Offers strong regional coverage, indexing more than California newspapers such as Contra Costa Times (1995-current), Sacramento Bee (1984-current), San Francisco Chronicle (1985-current), and San Jose Mercury News (1985-current). Search categories include: California newspapers (121 titles), Greater Los Angeles (54 titles), major metropolitan titles (13 titles), Spanish-language news sources (48 titles), the World (almost 2000 titles), US (855 titles).
Ethnic News Watch Indexes over 200 ethnic, minority, and native press publications. Contains news, culture, and history searchable in both English and Spanish. Also includes a retrospective backfile of titles (1960-1989).
Alt-Press Watch Alternative, radical, and independent magazines, newspapers, and journals in North America which report on politics and government, policy and culture, international issues, education, environment as well as reviews of theater, movies and books.
Alternative Press Index Includes more than 450 alternative, radical, and left magazines, newsletters, and journals in North America which report and analyze issues of cultural, economic, political, and social change. Approximately 90% of publications included are not indexed elsewhere. Indexes editorials, regular columns, essays, fiction; speeches, interviews, statistics, reprints; bibliographies, biographies, obituaries, memoirs; and reviews. Interfaces available for French, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese. Alternative Press Index Archive provides coverage of materials from 1969 to 1990.
LexisNexis Academic Includes over 6,000 individual titles of international, national and local newspapers and wire services; radio and television transcripts; and business, medical, industry, and legislative magazines, journals, and newsletters. Wide geographic coverage and translations from foreign-language sources, as well as news services like the Associated Press, Agence France Press, El Pais and Xinhua (New China) News Agency.
Sample Searches - Article Databases
Academic Search Complete - interdisciplinary
Library home > Articles > General Article databases > Academic Search Complete
1. "climate action plan*" (select a field - optional)
* = truncation symbol/wildcard child* = child childs children childhood childish, etc. quotes = a phrase (two or more words in a row)
2. asthma (select a field optional) "environmental justice" (select a field - optional)
asthma (select a field-optional) race or income or socioeconomic (select a field - optional)
use official subject headings to narrow your searches
asthma (select a field-optional) race or income or socioeconomic (subject)
ProQuest Social Sciences - multiple social science databases
Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject >Ethnic Studies > ProQuest Social Sciences
3. keywords search; narrow down by eliminating full text
"environmental justice" (anywhere) "central valley" (anywhere) california (anywhere)
4. if your search results are too general, try eliminating full text searching (esp with common terms like these)
obesity(all but full text) "environmental justice" (all but full text)
or subject headings:
obesity(subject) "environmental justice" (all but full text)
Access World News (great for local newspapers but also national and international)
5. (all text) phat beets
6. (all text) global warming solutions act
to narrow down results, limit to search terms found in headline and lead paragraphs:
(lead/first paragraphs) global warming solutions act
click on the title to see full record (including abstracts and descriptors)
to limit by publication type (peer-reviewed journals, conferences, books, etc.) click on the appropriate tab or link
if necessary,look for other limits (latest update, journal articles only, english only) and more advanced searches
select records to save to your personalized list; lists may be e-mailed, downloaded, printed
UC-eLinks - Find Article Text/Location
Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database is a bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the Uc-eLinks icon click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:
For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.
Library home > Articles > General Article Databases > JSTOR
Everyone Loves JSTOR:
full text available AND searchable - you may find topics you won't find elsewhere because they're only part of an article on a related topic
covers journals from their earliest publication dates
DOES NOT INCLUDE THE LAST 3-5 YEARS of a journal! not good for contemporary topics!
doesn't include as many journals in a particular discipline as the discipline-specific database (example: MLA Bibliography for literature)
California government/legislative information
UCB Library's full list of state government resources here.
California Code of Regulations (Administrative Code) This California Code of Regulations (CCR) Website contains the text of the regulations that have been formally adopted by state agencies, reviewed and approved by the Office of Administrative Law, and filed with the Secretary of State. The CCR consists of 27 titles and contains the regulations of approximately 200 regulatory agencies. Note that Title 6 (Governor's Regulations) presently contains no regulations, and Title 24 (California Building Standards) is published separately and not part of this CCR website (see FAQs for further information). This website is updated weekly.
California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) The largest state health survey in the United States conducted every two years on public health topics and access to health care for Californians. Contains the questionnaires, data files, and /Ask/CHIS, an online data query system. (Requires one-time, free registration).
California Statistical Abstract Compilation of data on social, economic, and physical aspects of the State. The contributor for each table is given at the bottom of the table and may be contacted for more details or an explanation of the data.
California Statutes California Statutes are the Chaptered Bills. A bill is 'chaptered' by the Secretary of State after it has passed through both houses of the Legislature and has been signed by the Governor or becomes law without the Governer's signature. Statutes are available starting from 1993.
CQ California Political Almanac Profiles of state legislators (Senate and Assembly), constitutional officers, state Supreme Court and appellate court justices, and representatives to the U.S. Congress. Overviews and essays on major players and events influencing the state's branches of government, including lobbyists and the media. Also includes: information on the state budget; maps of assembly, Board of Equalization, and Congressional and Senate districts; tables of state data, including gubernatorial elections, economics, and the history office holders. Part of the CQ Electronic Library collection.
County and City Data Book From the U.S. Census Bureau. Provides information on individual counties and cities (with population of 25,000 or more) in the United States. Data covers the following topical areas: age, agriculture, births, climate, crime, death, employment, housing, poverty, race, and more. Click on link for "online publication" to access data.
Environmental Health Legislation Database Includes state legislation on topics such as asthma, mercury, lead poisoning, pesticides and indoor air quality. All entries include brief summaries of current legislation as well as status and bill number.
Official California Legislative Information Official site maintained by the Legislative Counsel of California. Includes Bill information and tracking, California Law (codes and statutes), plus the California State Constitution.
State and Local Government on the Net Contains over 6,000 links to U.S. state and local government web pages, as well as to those for American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Tribal Governments, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also included are links to multi-state resources, selected U.S. federal resources, and national organizations.
State and Metropolitan Area Data Book From the U.S. Census Bureau. Features more than 1,500 data items for the U.S. and individual states, counties and metropolitan areas. Click on link for "online publication" to access data.
Federal Government Legislative and Other Resources
UCB Library's complete list of Federal government resources here.
ProQuest Congressional One stop shopping for U.S. congressional publications. Provides index and abstracts of congressional publications back to 1789, including full text of published Congressional Hearings from 1824-present (unpublished
until 1979), full text Committee Prints from 1830-present, full text Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports from 1916-present, full
text United States Congressional Serial Set (and its various former titles) from 1789-present, and legislative histories from 1970-present.
Envirofacts Searches across 20 EPA environmental databases containing information about facilities required to report to state or federal authorities. Well
organized into nine areas that can be searched individually: Air, Land, Water, Waste, Toxics, Radiation, Facility, Compliance, and Other.
National Center for Health Statistics (NCSH) The website for the National Center for Health Statistics, the nation's principal health statistics agency, compiling statistical information to guide actions and policies to improve the health.
Social Explorer Provides access to current and historical United States census data, including all historic decennial censuses and American Community
Surveys, as well as other demographic information, such as religious organizations. Census data is current to 2010 and historical back to 1790. In addition to being a data resource, the web interface lets
users create maps and reports to better illustrate, analyze and understand demography and social change.
Statistical Abstract of the United States National Data Book of the United States, functioning as a comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States as well as selected international data. The Abstract is useful both as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information, in print and on the Web. Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations. Earlier versions of the Statistical Abstract from 1878 to 2012 are available on the U.S Census Bureau's web site. In 2013 publication of the official Government version was discontinued, and taken up by the commercial vendor Proquest.
American Factfinder (U.S. Census Bureau) Searchable database used to find online source for accessing population, housing, economic and geographic data from the from the U.S. Census, including the Census of Population and Housing and the American Community Survey. After the 2000 census, the detailed census "long form" was replaced by the American Community Survey, a sample distributed to about 3% of households annually, as compared to the decennial census long form which went to 1 in 6 households every 10 years. The current version of American Factfinder contains 2010 and 2000 census data only. Historical versions of the census in PDF may be found on the Historical Census of Population and Housing site
. Selected historical tables and maps are also available from the Historical Census Browser at the University of Virginia. Current and historical census and mapping data is also available in an easy-to-use format via the commercial database Social Explorer
Mapping Resources - Selected
UCB Library's complete list of online Atlases, Maps and Gazeteers is here.
Note: many resources that are not primarily mapping tools, such as Reference USA (a directory of businesses), include mapping features.
Enter a zip code to find hazardous waste sites, air pollution emissions, toxic chemical releases, and other local information.
SimplyMap A web-based data analysis and mapping application that allows users to create custom thematic maps, tables and reports using demographic, business, and marketing data for the United States. Includes over 70,000 data variables related to demographics, employment,
real estate & housing, crime, businesses, consumer spending, and points of interest data from the US Census, historical US Census data (1980, 1990, 2000), SimmonsLOCAL data from Experian, and Nielsen Claritas PRIZM data.
California Digital Conservation Atlas Designed to provide easy-to-use, map views of California's natural resources and working landscapes. Categories of maps include: cultural geography, freshwater resources and characteristics, political districts, transportation networks & models, conservation planning, environmental hazards and more.
PolicyMap PolicyMap is an easy-to-use mapping program that includes over 15,000 US demographic and socioeconomic data indicators from the neighborhood census block to national levels. Data about demographics, neighborhood conditions, real estate markets, income, jobs and economy, education, crime, and health can be presented as maps, tables, charts and reports.
Reference USA Includes over 13 million U.S. companies. Provides searching and sorting features by industry, geographic location, company employee size, company name, sales size, etc. Also includes residential addresses for 120 million U.S. households.
California Map Series Maps of California's congressional districts,state senate and assembly districts and county maps. Produced by the California Voter Foundation.
Sample Searches - Reference USA - mapping businesses
Library home > Electronic Resources > By Subject >Business > Directories> Reference USA
Available databases: US Businesses
Business Type (on the left)
check off: Keyword/SIC/NAICS
select: Search Primary NAICS only
select: Geography (on the left)
pull down "Select a state" menu to California
pull down list of cities to Oakland, CA
click on View Results
click on Map
Citation Management Tools
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!
Zotero: A free plug-in for the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service. Zotero is also available as a stand-alone application that syncs with Chrome and Safari, or as a bookmarklet for mobile browsers.
RefWorks - web-based and free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies, then works with Word to help you format references and a bibliography for your paper. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
EndNote: Desktop software for managing your references and formatting bibliographies. You can purchase EndNote from the Cal Student Store.
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.
How to Avoid Plagiarism
In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when
You use another person's ideas, opinions, or theories.
You use facts, statistics, graphics, drawings, music, etc., or any other type of information that does not comprise common knowledge.
You use quotations from another person's spoken or written word.
You paraphrase another person's spoken or written word.
Begin the writing process by stating your ideas; then go back to the author's original work.
Use quotation marks and credit the source (author) when you copy exact wording.
Use your own words (paraphrase) instead of copying directly when possible.
Even when you paraphrase another author's writings, you must give credit to that author.
If the form of citation and reference are not correct, the attribution to the original author is likely to be incomplete. Therefore, improper use of style can result in plagiarism. Get a style manual and use it.
The figure below may help to guide your decisions.
The UCB Library Guide to Citing Your Sources discusses why you should cite your sources and links to campus resources about plagiarism. It also includes links to guides for frequently used citation styles. Also:
MLA handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th edition. New York : Modern Language Association of America, 2009. Doe Reference Reference Hall LB2369 .G53 2009 Main Gardner Stacks LB2369 .G53 2009 Many older editions available throughout the UCB libraries.
Step 2: Change your “Scholar Preferences.” Access these by clicking on the small icon in the upper right of the screen.
Step 3: In search box next to "Library Links," type in University of California Berkeley and click on “Find Library”
Step 4: Check all the boxes next to "University of California Berkeley"
Step 5: Click on "Save Preferences" at bottom of page
Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat
You do allow embedded content.
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).
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.