English 102 - Introduction to College Writing and Research
Library Instruction Program - Research
and Instructional Support
For more information about this topic contact Kristin Woodward
Table of Contents
- Tips and Strategies for Research
- Library Research Assistance
- Finding Information-- Cyborgs, Femminism, Identity, Writing, Technology, Authorship
- Using the Web Wisely
You probably know that a library catalog is used to find books. You may also know that unlike Google which searches the WWW, library databases search publications like magazines and journals. The full list of databases available at UWM is found at Resources A-Z. You can also use the Subject Guides to help you select a database using a general subject like “Literature” or “Sociology” to start you out. Meta Search will also allow you to search several databases for the same topic simultaneously. This guide includes some suggestions for databases that will help you find information on topics related to your course readings.
Constructing a Search
- Write down research question and underline key concepts
- Think of synonyms and alternate terms for each of the main concepts
- Think broader, or narrower, depending on results of initial searches
- Consult a thesaurus or index, if available, to narrow and focus the search
For example your question might look like this: How does feedback from users affect an author's experience in an online environment like a blog or a wiki?
But your search can look like:
authorship AND online
blogging AND audience
writing AND collaboration
Which to use: Catalog or Database?
- Use a library catalog to locate books and documents in a library's collections. It will also say if the library owns specific journals. PantherCat, MadCat, and MarqCat are examples of library catalogs
- A database, on the other hand, indexes the journals and is used to point to specific articles within the journals, articles on a topic or by a particular author. The full text of some, but not all, of these articles may be available online. Academic Search Elite, Communication & Mass Media Complete, Social Sciences & Full-text are all databases.
- Catalogs and databases do different things but work hand in hand to provide resources. Use one or more databases to find references to articles, then a library catalog to see if a library owns the journal where the article is published.
- Find It! is a helpful tool for locating electronic or print copies of articles available at the UWM LIbraries.
This link allows UWM students, faculty, and staff with Internet access to connect to most of the Libraries' subscription databases and electronic journals from home (a few titles are licensed for on-campus or in-library use only).
An email and chat service, AskaLibrarian provides a forum for questions at all hours. Check this web page for the various formats.
E-reserve materials generally consist of scanned journal articles, book chapters, lecture notes, and sample exams. These printable materials may be accessed from off-campus computers using the proxy server [see above].
When materials cannot be found at the UWM Libraries, use this link to pursue the many options available.
This is an in-depth advisory service about specific library research processes offered by librarians of the RIS Department to the students, staff and faculty of UWM. Use this link to find out more or to request an appointment.
In addition to your course readings and discussions you may wish to look at some additional sources that can help you learn more about a topic you are exploring. Visit the reference room of the UWM Libraries, or try out this tool called CQ Researcher. CQ Researcher is a database dedicated solely to the CQ Researcher publication. Each issue of CQ is about the length of a news magazine, but it only covers one topic in-depth. CQ is useful for getting a very quick, brief snapshot of the history of an issue and ideas for further exploration. See the bibliography section for some “hand-picked” links to more information.
See Blog Explosion
Truncation symbol is ? For example work? searches work, works, working, worked...
Types of searches include, title, author, keyword (and, or not). Use this guide for more tips in searching PantherCat.
Sample Search [using Keywords (and, or, not)]: "feminist critique " and polit?
On the UWM Libraries home page under "Find Articles", the Resources A-Z link leads to an alphabetical list of databases. Some index journals, magazines and newspapers from various subject disciplines. Others are collections containing the electronic full text of such journals. The ones listed below relate to your course topics. They each have online guides.
Academic Search 1984-present; indexes over 3,400 scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers in the areas of business, social sciences, humanities, general academic, general science, education, and multi-cultural studies. Full-text is available for 2,000 journals starting with January 1985. Guide Communication & Mass Media Complete Dates vary; Index of articles in communication and mass media, communication sciences and disorders. Includes some full text.
Use Comm & Mass Media Complete to find articles in journals and magazines about how we communicate (online, in writing, etc) and what it means to us in our culture.
Social Sciences Full Text 1983-present; indexes more than 600 international, English-language periodicals in sociology, anthropology, geography, economics, political science, and law. Full-text is available for 169 journals starting with January 1995. Guide
Use Social Sciences Full-Text to read about the different elements at work in our culture. Use it especially to find articles in journals and magazines about the various “lenses” that are used to critically evaluate our lifestyles and experiences.
GenderWatch - Tutorial 1970-present; full-text collection of international journals, magazines, newsletters, regional publications, special reports and conference proceedings devoted to women's and gender issues. Guide
Use Gender Watch to find articles in magazines and newspapers on experiences related to male/female roles.
Though not specifically related to your texts, the first three resources are Subject Directories to web sites evaluated by people (as opposed to "selected" by a search engines's web crawler). The other sites listed give some general guidelines to evaluating and citing web sites.
Librarians' Index to the Internet
Search by keyword or look through the directory - keyword can lead to directory sections to search further
Internet Scout Report
Subject directory maintained by UW Madison
Infomine - Scholarly Index Resource Collections
Contains over 20,000 well-selected and described links to scholarly resources on the Internet. Searchable.
Women's Studies Librarian's Office
[Click on Mega-Websites]
The Women's Studies Librarian serves the UW System as an expert collector and recommender of literature related to feminism, gender studies and related issues. Use her list of Mega-Websites to find focused information on the Web. Remember that you must also evaluate the information for relevance to your question, and appropriateness to your assignment.