Research Methods

 

English 1101 Composition I Students

click here for

Composition Research Methods

 

 

English 1102, 2110, 2200, 3900, 4110, 4440, 4446, 4665, 4850, 4950 and GC1Y 1000 Students

click here for

Literary Research Methods

 

Literary Research Methods

Books

GIL

Primary Texts
Secondary Texts

GIL Express

ILLiad

Galileo

Journal Articles

Galileo

Non-Library Databases

Locating Journals

I. Overview

This handout will help you find scholarly journal articles, books, and book chapters using Voyager and the article databases available on the Ina Dillard Russell Library homepage. In addition to this handout, the Library Guides show you how to access the Library Catalog, the Universal Catalog, the Journal Locator, and GALILEO. You should always use scholarly journal articles and books in a research paper because these constitute appropriate research in all venues. However, you should not use websites in research unless your instructor explicitly allows and your assignment prompt directly calls for them because websites generally offer context rather than scholarly analysis.

II. Books

A. GIL

At GCSU, all searches for books and book chapters begin with a Galileo Interconnected Libraries (GIL) GCSU Library Catalog search, the online catalog for books located in the GCSU Library and Instructional Technology Center. Firefox users may wish to experiment with the search engine plugin created by GCSU librarian Sonny McKenzie.

 

1. Primary Texts

2. Secondary Texts

Records Options: The table at the bottom of the results page allows you to display, print, or email the results of your search to yourself in a number of bibliographic formats. You can also save the book citation to your bookbag for later use.

B. GIL Express

After you have searched GCSU's catalog, you can also search the University System of Georgia universal catalog (GIL Express), using the methods above, and request a book be mailed to GCSU Library.

C. ILLiad

If you know of a book that GIL and GIL Express do not own, you can attempt to borrow it through InterLibrary Loan (ILLiad). You will have to create a username and password. Here is the ILLiad Library Guide.

D. Galileo

There are a number of books available electronically in Galileo. Click on the Databases A-Z link and look for the following databases by browsing or entering the title:

  1. ebook Academic Collection (EBSCO): Searches electronic books.
  2. ebooks on EBSCOhost: Searches electronic books.
  3. ebrary Academic Complete (Proquest): Searches electronic books.
  4. Electronic Books (at OCLC): Searches electronic books.

III. Journal Articles

Journals are scholarly publications that are issued two to four times a year. Journal articles are extensive, sometimes book chapter-length essays written by scholars in the field. Therefore, journal articles should not be confused with magazine and newspaper articles, which are short essays written by non-academics on deadline.

 

While searching for journal articles, be sure to check the box limiting your search to scholarly, peer reviewed journals. Even after limiting your search, your results might include some types of sourses that are not appropriate for including in literary research:

There are two steps in the process of researching journal articles. First, you must search article databases for articles; and, second, if the article is not available as an electronic full-text, you must locate the journals that contain the articles.

A. Galileo

Use Galileo to find scholarly journal articles. Galileo has five tabs, which I recommend using in the following order:

  1. Databases A-Z: Because individual databases offer increased search options and many allow emailing pdf articles to oneself, I recommend searching individual databases rather than using the Search tab.
    1. Academic Search Complete: I recommend using this database first because you can "Choose Databases" to include Literature and Performing Arts databases like the Literary Reference Center and MLA International Bibliography (thus you wouldn't have to search those databases individually). Results can be limited to peer reviewed articles. Citations can be formatted to MLA style, and many articles can be emailed in pdf format.
    2. Research Library (ProQuest): Searches journals that Academic Search Complete does not.
    3. JSTOR: I recommend using this database third; excellent for literary research.
    4. Project Muse: I recommend using this database fourth.
    5. Literary Criticism: I recommend using this database fifth.
    6. International Bibliography of Theater & Dance with Full Text (IBTD): Available in Academic Search Complete.
    7. Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (Chadwyck-Healey): An indiex of books and articles.
    8. Literary Criticism Online: A curated compilation of literary commentary.
    9. Literary Reference Center: Available in Academic Search Complete.
      • Masterplots and critical excerpts: Masterplots and critical excerpts do not count toward the assignment's minimum scholarly source minimum. Instead, use the bibliographic information to locate and read the entire scholarly source.
    10. Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online: Includes literary biographies and bibliographies for major authors.
    11. MLA International Bibliography: Available in Academic Search Complete. A database of over 3000 journals. Input the author and/or the title of the work you're researching (inside quotation marks) into a Keyword search. Results include journal articles, book chapters, and dissertations.
      • Dissertation Abstracts International: Unless you're working on senior research with a lot of time to obtain these, it's safe to disregard dissertations.
      • Book Reviews: Book reviews are not journal articles; rather than using a book review as a source, you should obtain the book under review.
  2. Search: Although the default search consists of Academic Search Complete and Research Library (at ProQuest), I recommend "Show more databases" and selecting International Bibliography of Theater & Dance with Full Text (IBTD), Literary Reference Center, Literature Online Reference Edition, MLA International Bibliography, and NetLibrary. Consider limiting your results to "peer reviewed (articles reviewed by experts)." You can save and email the citations to yourself as well as view PDF. Although this broad search will result in a lot of hits, it's difficult to tailor your results. Moreover, many individual databases will allow you to email pdfs to yourself; therefore, I recommend searching individual databases A-Z.
  3. Browse by Subject > Literature, Language, and Literary Criticism: Searches Academic Search Complete, Literary Reference Center, Literature Online Reference Edition, MLA International Bibliography, and Research Library (at ProQuest). Does not afford advanced searches; does not allow pdf emailing.
  4. Browse by Type: Allows you to search for materials by publication type. Not recommended if you are just searching for critical articles.
  5. Journals A-Z: This searches journal titles, not articles. Not recommended.

B. Non-Library Databases

Here are two good databases/search engines available outside of the library's site.

C. Locating Journals

After you have found the listings for journal articles within the article databases, you must retrieve the articles.

Composition Research Methods

Books

GIL

GIL Express

ILLiad

Journal Articles

Galileo

Non-Library Databases

Locating Journals

I. Overview

This handout will help you find scholarly journal articles, books, and book chapters using Voyager and the article databases available on the GCSU Library and Instructional Technology Center homepage. In addition to this handout, the Library Research Quick Guides show you how to access the Library Catalog, the Universal Catalog, the Journal Locator, and GALILEO. You should always use scholarly journal articles and books in a research paper because these constitute appropriate research in all venues. However you should not use websites in research unless your instructor explicitly allows and your assignment prompt directly calls for them because websites generally offer context rather than analysis.

II. Books

A. GIL

At GCSU, all searches for books and book chapters begin with a Galileo Interconnected Libraries (GIL) GCSU Library Catalog search, the online catalog for books located in the GCSU Library and Instructional Technology Center. Firefox users may wish to experiment with the search engine plugin created by GCSU librarian Sonny McKenzie.

B. GIL Express

After you have searched GCSU's catalog, you can also search the University System of Georgia universal catalog (GIL Express), using the methods above (Exact Search > Subject Heading or GIL Universal Catalog Quick Search), and request a book be mailed to GCSU Library.

C. ILLiad

If you know of a book that GIL and GIL Express do not own, you can attempt to borrow it through InterLibrary Loan (ILLiad). You will have to create a username and password.

III. Journal Articles

Journals are scholarly publications that are issued four to six times a year. Journal articles are extensive, sometimes book chapter-length essays written by scholars in the field. Therefore, journal articles should not be confused with magazine and newspaper articles, which are short essays written by non-academics on deadline. Unless your instructor tells you otherwise, refrain from using magazine and newspaper articles as sources in an research paper. There are two steps in the process of researching journal articles. First, you must search article databases for articles; and, second, you must locate the journals that contain the articles. The Library also provides a webpage on how to find an article.

A. Galileo

Use Galileo to find scholarly journal articles. Galileo has five tabs, which I recommend using in the following order:

  1. Databases A-Z: Because individual databases offer increased search options and many allow emailing pdf articles to oneself, I recommend searching individual databases rather than using the Search tab.
    1. Academic Search Complete: I recommend using this database first because you can "Choose Databases" to include a plethora of other of GALILEO databases, thus you wouldn't have to search those databases individually. Results can be limited to peer reviewed articles. Citations can be formatted to MLA style, and many articles can be emailed in pdf format.
    2. Research Library (at ProQuest): Searches journals that Academic Search Complete does not.
    3. NetLibrary: Searches electronic books.
  2. Search: Although the default search consists of Academic Search Complete and Research Library (at ProQuest), I recommend "Show more databases" and selecting databases appropriate to the discipline you are researching. Consider limiting your results to "peer reviewed (articles reviewed by experts)." You can save and email the citations to yourself as well as view PDF. Although this broad search will result in a lot of hits, it's difficult to tailor your results. Moreover, many individual databases will allow you to email pdfs to yourself; therefore, I recommend searching individual databases A-Z.
  3. Browse by Subject: Searches various databases in the discipline you are researching.
  4. Browse by Type: Allows you to search for materials by publication type. Not recommended if you are just searching for critical articles.
  5. Journals A-Z: This searches journal titles, not articles. Not recommended.

B. Non-Library Databases

Here are two good databases/search engines available outside of the library's site.

C. Locating Journals

After you have found the listings for journal articles within the article databases, you must retrieve the articles.

IV. Web Sources

None of my classes should be using web sources to fulfill the minimum number of sources for any assignment in Fall 2010.

I have found over the years that most composition students equate research with Google and most do not understand how to evaluate the quality of the information they find on the internet. Although I have taught critical website evaluation, it takes time out from analytical writing instruction. Therefore, I emphasize scholarly research within the realm of the university library and its site licensed databases, for these sites have already been reviewed. I require students in 1101 and 1102 classes who are doing scholarly research projects to use scholarly materials from the library and its databases and I discourage them from using general internet sources.