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EH 105: Honors Composition (Jackson): Finding Scholarly Sources

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Where to Search

You have a variety of options when it comes to searching for scholarly sources, and the best to use will depend on the situation. On this page I discuss using subject-specific databases to find articles and the catalog to find books and e-books. Another option is OneSearch, which allows you to search for these sources simultaneously. This is covered on a separate tab. Since you are honors students who will be doing substantial research projects, I encourage you to become familiar with the subject-specific options. These are initally a bit more labor-intensive but will result in your finding higher quality sources without having to wade through tons of information. 

Finding Articles

These are a few of our 200+ databases that I have chosen based on the topic for your annotated bibliography in your class. These may not be the subject-specific databases for your particular field of study, but the skills you will gain in using these databases in this class will transfer to others. You will learn the particular databases for your discipline as you progress through your studies at USA. 

Finding Books

To find books, some of our ebooks, and government documents in USA Libraries' collections, use SOUTHcat: USA Libraries' Catalog. You will not find journal articles in SOUTHcat.

  • Catalog tips and tricks:Revise and refine your searches.
    • Keyword searches – use quotation marks to hold phrases together ("Harry Potter")
    • Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (hero? finds hero, heroine, heroism...)
    • Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for Buffy, then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term is "Buffy, the vampire slayer (Television program)." Click the subject heading to find more records with this subject.)
  • Watch for repeating call numbers and browse stacks in that area.
  • Pay attention to the Location and Status fields. You will need this information to locate the item in the library.

Finding E-Books

Unfortunately, e-books can be complicated. We now have over 300,000 e-books, some of which are included in OneSearch, some in databases, and some in SOUTHcat. However, some can be accessed only via the individual e-book collection. Access rules for e-books also vary by publisher. The complete list of e-book collections is given on the page linked below. A few e-book collections that may be useful for your topics in this class are also listed.