Search Palgrave’s Reference Sources for High-Level Research Help

This is one of my go-to sources for in-depth introductions and entries on complex topics. This is much better than Wikipedia or general encyclopedias. When people start doing research they very often need summaries of their pretty intricate topic. How else are you going to understand those complex journal articles?

All Palgrave’s books here – including online!

 

Getting Book Reviews And Why They’re Important

Don’t forget book reviews! Most databases will allow you to select book reviews as a source type. Reason: find out a book’s reputation, any hidden context, its significance among experts, and any problems with the book. Most authors are pretty persuasive and you need a second opinion.

Be sure to limit results to “review” or “book review,” depending on the interface.

Complete list of book review databases here

Favorites:

New York Times archives is a good option for nonacademic books published before 2006.

JSTOR is another good one for many subjects.

Wilson OmniFile FullText. A good grabbag. You can limit it to search “book reviews” by a particular discipline.

These are not your only options but are some of the best. You can always check your favorite database to see if it has book reviews.

Finding Books Outside Alkek Library

Here’s how to find books and other materials that the Alkek Library doesn’t own.

Use Worldcat to search the world’s libraries at once. Request the item you want through interlibrary loan (for books, expect the process to take a minimum of 6 to 8 days). The tutorial below also shows you how to search area libraries if you want to get the item immediately (if you have a Texshare card).

Worldcat video

How to Find Primary Sources

Primary sources are documents that are direct records of an event, raw data, documents, magazines or newspapers from the time, photos or other material created at the time of an event. Even audio recordings, buildings, or just about anything could be considered primary sources.

Our historical primary source databases are located here.

Again, if you’re working in the field of history, you can search our catalog for published collections of primary sources.

Our history maven Margaret Vavarek suggests the searching the following key words in the catalog: Correspondence, Description and Travel, Diaries, Interviews, Personal Narratives, Sources, Letters or Speeches

Another way to identify primary sources is to go to Dissertation Theses Full Text, find relevant dissertations (they are fulltext online) and read their bibliographies.  You could then search to see if we our other libraries have the primary sources mentioned in these bibliographies.

Primary sources in other disciplines can mean studies, experiment results or original research. These can be found by searching the appropriate databases and finding articles that contain primary research results.

How To Find Keywords Within 5 Words of Each Other

Bet you didn’t know about “proximity” searches in the Ebscohost family of databases. These commands allow you to search 2 words that occur in the text near each other.

The upshot of which is: the article is more likely to be written about your topic if your words occur close to one other.

(Ebscohost is the name of the publisher that brings you several of our databases. You may know them by their proper names, like Academic Search. Once inside an Ebsco database, you can always “choose databases” to search several Ebscohost databases at once.)

Here’s the official directions from Ebscohost:

Proximity Searches

You can use a proximity search to search for two or more words that occur within a specified number of words (or fewer) of each other in the databases. Proximity searching is used with a Keyword or Boolean search.

The proximity operators are composed of a letter (N or W) and a number (to specify the number of words). The proximity operator is placed between the words that are to be searched, as follows:

Near Operator (N) – N5 finds the words if they are within five words of one another regardless of the order in which they appear.

For example, type tax N5 reform to find results that would match tax reform as well as reform of income tax.

Within Operator (W) – In the following example, W8 finds the words if they are within eight words of one another and in the order in which you entered them.

For example, type tax W8 reform to find results that would match tax reform but would not match reform of income tax.

In addition, multiple terms can be used on either side of the operator. See the following examples:

  • (baseball or football or basketball) N5 (teams or players)
  • oil W3 (disaster OR clean-up OR contamination)

Wikipedia Hoaxes News Roundup

Here are some recent articles documenting maliciously wrong Wikipedia information, and even some articles about entirely fictitious entities. In many cases, the wrong information stayed on Wikipedia for years and was cited by other sources. Food for thought if you are using Wikipedia.

I Accidentally Started a Wikipedia Hoax

The 10 Biggest Hoaxes In  Wikipedia’s First 10 Years

Read About the Infamous Nonexistent Battle That Stayed on Wikipedia for Five Years

Wikipedia’s own entry on Wikipedia Hoaxes (yes, we know)

 

February Library eNews Is Live!

We’re excited to present the February issue of Library eNews, featuring services and resources to serve our Texas State community. This issue introduces our new 3D printing service, provides tips on career exploration and honing research skills, showcases our University Archivist and a poem written for Alkek’s “Tell Us Your Story” competition–and much more!

Library eNews (also accessible at https://digital.library.txstate.edu/handle/10877/5952)

Inside This Issue:

Director’s Message
My Home Away From Home

Tell Us Your Story Winner
“The Alkek Library,” by Isabel Briana Torres

Student Voices
How Alkek and a Hike Helped Me Find My Way

Step Up Your Research
Using Library Resources to Sharpen Research Skills

Meet Our Staff
Kristine Toma, University Archivist

News from the North
Faculty: Place Reserve Items at the RRC Library

Collections Spotlight
Calling All Art Lovers!

At the Wittliff Collections
Wittliff Exhibit Highlights Classic Texas Films

Texas State University History
Glimpses of University History on Flickr

Copyright Corner
Using Images from the Internet

 

 

September Library eNews: ALKEK@25 Anniversary Issue

Library eNews: September 2015 edition

Here’s a preview of this month’s news:

Director’s Message 
Time to Celebrate!
Student Voices  
Chasing the Dream to Become a Registered Nurse
Step Up Your Research
New Staffing Models for Research Help
Collections Spotlight 
Then and Now: Collections at Alkek
Digitization Initiatives Growing at the Library
Discovering Government Resources
From Gov Docs to .Gov: Changes to Gov Info
Copyright Corner
Video Performance in the Classroom & on TRACS
Staff Feature
Jerry Weathers, Head Access Services Librarian
News from the North
Celebrating Years of Library Support
At the Wittliff Collections
Three New Exhibitions Open Now!
Texas State University History
Alkek Library Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

Welcome to the first edition of the University Library’s electronic newsletter for the Texas State University community for the 2015-2016 academic year!  We hope that students, faculty, and staff will stay connected with the Library through our eNews features, including information about services, collections, and events at Alkek and the Round Rock Campus Library.

This month’s issue features many articles related to the Alkek Library’s 25th anniversary.  We especially encourage you to join in our celebration with a reenactment of the 1990 Book-It Brigade.  A “human chain” of students, faculty, staff, and community leaders will pass six books from Old Main (home of the original campus library) to the Alkek Library, linking the past with the present.  The first 400 participants will receive free commemorative t-shirts.  Refreshments will be provided at Alkek afterwards.

Where:  Meet at the scrolling marquee sign in the middle of the Quad – from there, people will form a human chain linking Old Main and the Alkek Library.

When:  Wednesday, September 23; human chain begins forming at 9:30 a.m.; book pass will start shortly after 10:00 a.m.

 

Boko Says, “March Library eNews!”

BokoReads2313

March Library eNews

Find these stories and more:

Renovation+Innovation=Inspiration
Library Resources for Every Learning Style
Finding Primary Sources for Your Research
Mobile Possibilities for Research and Teaching
BrowZine Scholarly Journals on Your Device
Liz King: Library Experience Librarian
The RRC Library—It’s Bigger Than You Think!
Books and Artifacts Bring the Southwest Alive
11,000+ Department of Defense Resources
Digitizing the Student Newspaper for Access
Plus “Calling all Faculty”! Try our new reading list builder, a pilot program

Find previous issues of Library eNews in our digital collections and on our website.