Library catalogs and article databases offer several ways to narrow or broaden, or otherwise control your search. Below are common methods; if they don't work, look for a "Help" link!
Most default to a quick keyword search (somewhat like Google) that assumes you want items containing all the words you type.
Most let you truncate a word with a wildcard symbol (usually * ) to get plurals and other variant forms.
passion* gets passion, passions, passionate
Most offer an Advanced Search with more options, such as searching on an author's name, or words in a title.
REFINING YOUR SEARCH
If your search retrieves too many items, use more specific terms, or put in additional keywords.
gets fewer items than love shakespeare
love poetry shakespeare
gets fewer items than love shakespeare
If your search gets too few items, use more general terms or remove some keywords.
You can also combine terms with OR to get more items.
love OR eros
gets items containing either term.
FINDING RELATED ITEMS
In library catalogs and most article databases, click on the title of an interesting item and look in the detailed display for links (blue underlined text). These may include the author's name, "Subjects" or "Subject headings". Clicking on one of these links will do a search for items tagged the same way.
Many catalogs and databases allow you to save items to a list/folder/etc. and e-mail, print or download the citation. Some will allow you to output citations in a particular citation style (ex: MLA or Chicago).
"I'm writing a paper on World War II."
Often students start their research with a very general topic, even though they may realize the topic is too large to deal with in a 10-15 page paper. Faculty and librarians tell them, "You have to narrow this down." But how do you narrow a topic?
You can combine these ideas, "What were the major impacts of WWII on women in France, in the decade after the war?"
More ideas in our brief tutorial on topic selection and narrowing.
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.
You have access to hundreds of databases in specific disciplines. Here are a few that work for almost any topic.
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.
Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system. Next Generation Melvyl also allows you to expand your search to libraries worldwide. Clicking on the REQUEST button in the detailed view of a catalog record prompt you to fill out a form to request the item through our Interlibrary Loan office.
PT9876.22.A6933 L8413 2010
What is this number?
It's called a 'call number', and every book in the library has a unique one, which is printed on the spine of the book.
The call numbers tell you where the book is shelved, if you know how to read them.
You can check out books from most libraries on campus with your Cal 1 Card. Here's information on borrowing, renewing, returning, overdue materials, etc.
ebrary is our largest collection of full text ebooks, with 40,000 titles on a wide range of subjects. Find them in the UCB catalog, OskiCat (keyword: ebrary or limit to "Available Online"), or search the ebrary site directly:
A large part of the library's collection is stored off campus in an environmentally secure building called the Northern Regional Library Facility [NRLF].
Submit online requests via the REQUEST button in OskiCat to borrow material shelved at NRLF. To receive electronic or paper copies of book chapters or journal articles, submit an online request via the "Request an article from NRLF (photocopy or web delivery)" link that appears in eligible titles in OskiCat. Staff at public service desks of any campus library can assist you with further questions.
Log in to Request with your Calnet ID and fill out the screens. Choose the volume you want, for periodicals:
The Library offers over 100 e-book and e-text collections in specific subject areas. E-books in collections marked * are also available through OskiCat and Melvyl. You can limit your search in OskiCat to "Available online," and in Melvyl to "Online resources."
A Map of the UCB Libraries is located at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/instruct/guides/librarymap.html.
Books and journals are arranged on our shelves according to the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. Each is assigned a unique call number based on its subject matter and other characteristics. Items on the same subject will often be grouped together.
In using a call number to locate a book on the shelf, consider each element in turn before moving on to the next segment.
These call numbers are arranged as they should appear on the shelves. In each case, the element shown in boldface distinguishes the number from the preceding one:
Each call number consists of several elements. For example::
The FIRST line, TK, is based on the broad subject of the book. Within Class T for technology, TK represents electrical engineering.
The SECOND line, 7881.6, defines the subject matter more finely. When looking for the book, read this as a whole number with a decimal component. In this example, TK7881.6 represents magnetic recording (a subdivision of TK— electrical engineering).
The THIRD line, M29, usually indicates author, but may also represent a further subject subdivision, geographic area, etc. There may also be a fourth line, formatted the same way. When looking for the book, read the numeric component as if it were preceded by a decimal point. In the example above, the numeric part of M29 should be read as ".29" (and the call number TK7881.6 M29 comes before TK7881.6 M4).
The YEAR of publication, such as 1993, may also be present. These file in chronological order and often indicate successive editions of a book. The call number may also have additional elements, such as volume numbers.
An annotated bibliography lists important works you will use in your research: articles, books, chapter, reports, etc.
Your annotations are not just summaries, but are meant to inform the reader why each work is significant, how it relates to other works on the subject, and how well it succeeds in its task.
Here are a couple of excellent online guides to preparing an annotated bibliography.
Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the left sidebar for the Create Alert link next to the envelope icon, and click it. New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.
Open Scholar. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner, and choose 'scholar preferences'. In the next screen, choose Library Links from the left-hand menu. In the search box, type the word Berkeley. Choose University of California, Berkeley - UC-eLinks, and Open Worldcat Search.
Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.
Accessing full-text content from off campus using Google Scholar
Step 1: Set up your proxy server access by following the directions at http://proxy.lib.berkeley.edu/. When you get to a point where you are accessing resources that the Library pays for, you will be prompted for your CalNet ID and password. For more help see: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/doemoff/tutorials/proxy.html
Step 2: Change your “Scholar Preferences.” Access these by clicking on the link next to the search box.
Step 3: In search box next to "Library Links," type in University of California Berkeley and click on “Find Library”
Step 4: Check box next to "University of California Berkeley - UC-eLinks
Step 5: Click on "Save Preferences" at bottom of page
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.
If you've never used Zotero before, use the QuickStart Guide to get started.
Change your preferences if you want Zotero to
To use Zotero to find specific articles in our library's databases, set up the Open URL resolver with this link: http://ucelinks.cdlib.org:8888/sfx_local?
An in-depth discussion of the relative virtues of Endnote and Zotero,
The complete citation should look like this:
Anti-slavery International. "Anti-slavery: today’s fight for tomorrow’s freedom." 4/12/2002. http://www.antislavery.org/ (4 Dec. 2003).
The components of the citation are [in this order]:
• Author's name, last name first (if known), or organizational author
• Title of the page, in quotation marks
• Title of the complete website (if applicable), in italics
• Date of the webpage or last revision (if available)
• Full URL including protocol (e.g., "http")
• Date you read it, in parentheses
When you use this chat widget a reference librarian from Berkeley, or another UC campus, or another academic library around the US may be answering your question. We share information about our libraries to make sure you get good answers.
If the librarian can't answer you well enough, your question will be referred to a Berkeley librarian for followup.
Have fun chatting.
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