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HCOM/ISSM 300 Library Guide

Using the books and articles search

Search tips

Saving what you find

To permanently save records (the "record" is the page with all the info about the information item, which includes either a call number if the item is a print book, or a link to full text if the item is electronic; here's an example), you must log in by clicking the link in the upper right hand corner of the results screen. To get back to your saved items later, do any search from the library homepage, and on the next screen you'll see the login link in the upper right hand corner. Then you'll see "my saved records."

To create citations in APA, MLA and Chicago formats, click the title of the item. Copy the citation you need from the column on the right.

Understanding scholarship

How to tell if an article is "scholarly"

Using limiters

Articles tab:

You can limit to “journal article” and “scholarly,” but not specifically to peer-reviewed. Notice, however, that a mortarboard icon and the words “Peer Reviewed” appear in the results list for items that are peer-reviewed.

"Add results beyond the library's collection" means include items you will need to order via Interlibrary Loan, as well as content that is freely and immediately available via the web.

Books tab:

"eDocument" refers to documents published by the federal government that are available in PDF format.

You cannot limit a book search to scholarly materials only. It is up to you to evaluate the quality of individual items.

Using article databases

Start at the library home page, and click the Databases by Subject link. Links in the left-hand column of the Articles & Databases page will take you to subject-oriented research guides where you can discover the best discipline-specific article databases for conducting research on your topic. You may also wish to explore the library's general or multidisciplinary databases, including Academic Search Premier, Academic OneFile, and JSTOR.

New to library research? These tutorials will teach you how to select keywords, search the databases, and understand your results.

Selected article databases

This is a short list of the research databases available from the Articles and Databases page that are likely to be most useful for researching humanities topics.

America: History & Life

Communication & Mass Media

JSTOR Retrospective Journal Collection

Literature Resource Center

MLA Bibliography [Literature]

Project Muse [Humanities Journals]

Religion & Philosophy

Sage Journals [Social Science Journals]

Locating articles in full text

When you have located a citation to a journal article in a database, but you don't see a full-text link, follow the Find Text button to determine whether the text of the article is available in print in the library or electronically through another database. In some cases, you will be presented with a list of links to databases that may contain the full-text. Click the links, and if they don't work, ask a librarian.

You may also consult the CSUMB List of Journal Titles for a list of journals available in print at the CSUMB library or online. This is an excellent way to track down the full text of an article for which you already have the citation. The reference lists, or bibliographies, in articles you've already found can be used to discover citations for more sources that are likely to be relevant to your research.

Annotated bibliographies

How to prepare an annotated bibliography (from Cornell University)

Annotated Bibliographies (Purdue OWL)

Annotated Bibliographies (UNC Chapel Hill)

Useful tools

The Library Books & Articles Search will create citations for most books and articles. Type the title of the book or article into the search, then click the title when you get results. The right-hand column of the full record will contain a citations in MLA, APA and Turabian/Chicago formats.


Citation Machine- for MLA, APA, Turabian, Chicago

KnightCite- APA, MLA or Chicago

Zotero (Firefox plugin)


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