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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to get an overview of a discipline

Use Google to find the major associations for your field. Try searching for:
  • association "name of field"
Often the major associations in your field will have its' own journal, which will give you a starting point for compiling a list of journals to follow.

Use Google Books to find overviews of your field. Try searching for the following:
  • "name of field" history
  • "name of field"reader
  • "name of field"overview
  • "name of field" "critical introduction"

Related: How to find a Journal that covers [insert specific topic in field of literature studies here]
If you are looking for journals in an interdisciplinary field, try this search in the major Interdisciplinary databases.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Finding a complete bibliography of a specific text

Start by searching MLA International Bibliography. Coverage goes from 1926-present. You can click here to see what exactly is covered by MLA. MLA is the most extensive database we have in terms of literature studies. This video has information on how to use some of the advanced search options in MLA

However, no one database indexes all scholarly publications.
On the English guide I would also suggest searching LRC (most useful for biographical information on an author rather then scholarly research) as well as ASC, Project Muse & JSTOR (the largest interdisciplinary databases we have).
Click here to see the complete list of Literature related databases. (So if your text was published in the 18th century, search the 18th century database and so on.)
Think about whether scholars in other disciplines would have written on your text and search those databases as well (for example, if you are writing on Oedipus Rex, search the Classics databases as well)

You can also search WorldCat (either though FirstSearch or Google Books) to see if anyone has published a bibliography of your text. Try searching for bibliography "title of work" "author's name" Click here to see a sample search of bibliographies of Hamlet.
I would also suggest searching for annotated bibliographies in a dissertation databases such as ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.

If you are searching for scholarship from journals that have not been digitized, this is a slightly more complicated proposition. You will need to search in FirstSearch WorldCat to see if there are any print indexes available for the time frame you are looking for (ex. Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth-Century Novelists, Poets, Playwrights, Philosophers, and Other Creative Writers, from the First Published Critical Appraisals to Current Evaluations OR Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism OR Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, etc). If we hold the print index, you can search it for mentions of your text. If we do not, you will need to request that print index though ILL. Keep in mind, if an early review of your text remains significant in the field of literature, it is likely that it will be mentioned in more recent bibliographies.
Print bibliographies can also be useful.

This guide has resources on searching out the textual histories of books, it may have some useful resources.
Please contact me if you have any questions.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nothing is original.....

I do love Creative Commons (also, hot pink).
If you are looking for content to re-use without violating copyright, searching CC licensed material is a great way to go.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

National Library Week!

"Yeah, you can get 50,000 Google results on something, but you can also have a librarian who can point you to the right one and that can be incredibly important"
Neil Gaiman