Look for an option to limit your search to articles in peer-reviewed or scholarly journals. These are important components of college-level research.
Databases can also include magazine & newspaper articles, which can provide news; analysis; and illuminate the attitudes, biases, and points of view of a certain place and time.
Search for physical and digital books, films and other media in our library catalog.
A book of literary criticism can be by a single author or can be an edited anthology with chapters ("book articles") on different aspects of the book's general theme.
To identify SCHOLARLY BOOKS, investigate/examine the:
PRINT: Look at the location and call number. Most Colby owned books related to literature can be found on the two bottom floors of the Miller Library book stacks. Order books from Bates, Bowdoin and the Colby Annex by clicking CBB Request in an item record.
DIGITAL: look for a small circular red E in the icons to the left of your results . .
Or use the drop-downs on the CBBcat search page, for a more precise search.
Find an item of interest using a keyword search? Look at its item record to identify Subject Terms. These links group material together by topic which can yield more precise results. Sample subject headings:
Note that searching a broad subject in CBBcat can lead to a further list of sub-divisions. These can be helpful in focusing your research.
List of Colby's databases - use the Subject menu to find the best databases for your search
Check the notes, references and bibliographies of every relevant article or book. These list the sources the author interacted with to create their work.
Search the title of an author's work in Google Scholar and click on Cited by under its listing. This provides a list of sources that cited an author's work, continuing conversations in multiple new directions.
Following citation trails can not only facilitate the discovery of other works that enrich your research, but it can illuminate the larger network of conversations and connections that help to expand knowledge.
Photo: The Look, Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Don't use regular Google to find scholarly material - Use library databases or the library catalog. However, Google, used carefully, can help find alternative voices, community organizations and digital collections. Check with your professor if unsure about assignment requirements.
Search precisely - Beware of common words or words that have multiple meanings. Specify as much as possible, but also explore alternative phrasing. Do pre-research to find names of relevant and reliable online publications and blogs.
Use "Advanced Search" - On your Google search results page, click on Settings. The "Site or Domain" field can be useful in limiting your results to government information (.gov) or items created at educational institutions (.edu).
Use "Tools" - On your Google search results page, click on Tools > All Results > Verbatim. This can help focus your results. Limiting by date can get you items with greater currency.
Evaluate Extremely Carefully! - Investigate every source by doing separate searches of source creators, authors and publications. Every source you interact with is a conversation. With whom are you talking? What are their values and motivations? Are they getting their information from reliable sources and interpreting evidence fairly and intelligently? Who is the intended audience?
Know the Limitations of Web Searching - Most scholarly articles are either not found by search engines or are behind paywalls. Information is sorted and ranked according to commercial/consumer/popular considerations. Information is not vetted for accuracy or reliability.
Want to see if Colby has access to a particular magazine or journal? On the Colby Libraries home page click on the "Journals and Articles" tab.
Once the orange bar has moved down, enter the publication's name in the search box.
Book by Lalena Jaramillo, 2011, Flickr(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)