tips for doing research in

HIST 001D

China and the World: A History of Collecting



Sarah Elichko
Social Sciences Librarian
11/11/14


What we'll talk about today:


Navigating citations, navigating the library

How to find secondary sources for history research




Navigating citations,
navigating the library

key skills for scholars (including students)

 











selection from Harris 2005

Citation 1:


Huang, Nengfu. "The Path to Refinement: Silk Fabrics

  of the Ming Dynasty." In Chinese Silks, by Juanjuan   Chen, 369-429. New Haven: Yale University Press,   2012.

What kind of secondary source is this? How can you tell?

If you wanted to look this up in Tripod, what would you search for?

Citation 2:


Harris, Steven J. "Jesuit Scientific Activity in the
    Overseas Missions, 1540–1773." Isis 96, no. 1
    (2005): 71-79. doi:10.1086/430680.



What kind of secondary source is this? How can you tell?

If you wanted to look this up in Tripod, what would you search for?


1. Is this a citation for a book, journal article, or book chapter?

Journal article   44(3): 348-380

Book chapter   "In"  "ed." or "eds."

2. Is this book available in McCabe? If B or H, request it.

3. If McCabe, what's the call number?
Which floor do I need to go to?

A-G = Lower Level   H-K = Second Level   L-Z = Third Level



When searching for articles online (e.g. in JSTOR), look for this:


The FindIt button searches Tripod for you.

It points you to the full-text article or book, if available.




finding secondary sources

for history research

identifying interesting books, articles, and chapters




By using scholarly databases, you'll more easily find relevant academic articles and books.


There are quite a few scholarly databases that could be relevant to your work in this class...

Luckily, most databases work in similar ways, so using multiple databases isn't much harder than searching just one.

Databases to consider searching:


-More focused-
Historical Abstracts - focus on history

Bibliography of Asian Studies - many disciplines


-Broader range of sources-
Tripod - books, chapters, articles (all disciplines)

JSTOR - articles (all disciplines)

Project Muse - articles (all disciplines)




Let's compare:


Historical Abstracts

v.

Tripod



(why bother searching multiple databases?)


smaller, more focused databases:

- make it easier to screen out irrelevant results -

- often include unique results that aren't in larger databases -

Things to keep in mind if you'd like to search effectively (and efficiently):


- Databases do a poor job of guessing what your search terms mean. Choose keywords wisely.

tip: generate a list and reuse it across databases


- Use features that allow you to combine keywords into more efficient searches.




Questions for generating search terms

  • What are synonyms for your topic? Related words?

  • What are broader and narrower terms?

  • Do scholars refer to your topic using particular terminology?  (look at the articles and books you already have)

  • Are there multiple ways to transliterate or translate words that relate to your topic?

  • Have the terms relating to your topic changed with time?




Take a couple of minutes to generate a list of possible search terms for your research topic. 

(the questions will go back up in a moment)




Questions for generating search terms

  • What are synonyms for your topic? Related words?

  • What are broader and narrower terms?

  • Do scholars refer to your topic using particular terminology?  (look at the articles and books you already have)

  • Are there multiple ways to transliterate or translate words that relate to your topic?

  • Have the terms relating to your topic changed with time?




Take your search terms list, and run some searches in Historical Abstracts.

Questions welcome -


email: selichk1@swarthmore.edu

office hours: M 1-3, W 3-5
held at mccabe research + info desk


other times by appointment: email to schedule


http://libguides.brynmawr.edu/hist001d