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HIST 4301 (Dr. Shaffer): Senior Seminar on Revolutions

Through Databases

  • In America: History and Life (for the U.S. & Canada) or Historical Abstracts (for the rest of the world):
    1. Check the "Peer Reviewed" checkbox to limit results to scholarly journals.
    2. Select Article from the "Document Type" limiter to avoid book reviews, letters, and editorials.
    3. Use the "Historical Period" limiter to get articles about a particular time period, regardless of when it was published.
    4. Truncate your terms with an asterisk (*) for variant endings. For instance, conserv* finds conserved or conservation.
    5. Find fewer and more relevant results by searching for some terms in specific fields, such as Subject Terms, from the dropdown menu on the right.
    6. Use SFX to get the actual text of many of the articles from other databases, our print holdings, or interlibrary loan.
  • In JSTOR:
    1. Check the box by Articles under "Narrow By : Item Type" to avoid book reviews.
    2. Scroll down under "Narrow by discipline and/or publication title:" and choose History to avoid irrelevant results.
    3. Truncate your terms with a plus (+) for variant endings. For instance, conserv+ finds conserved or conservation.
  • In each of those:
    • Use quotation marks to keep phrases together. Searching in JSTOR for the phrase "civil rights" in quotation marks finds 76,444 results, while searching for those two words without the quotes will find any article that has each word, even if it's not a phrase, and returns 238,876 results.

Through Bibliographies and Citations

  • Every secondary source will cite other relevant secondary (and primary) sources in its bibliography and/or notes. If you find one article or book that's relevant to you, see what articles and books it cites. You'll probably want to use some of those.
  • Dissertations and Theses Full Text -- The papers in this database will cite an especially great number of articles, books, and primary sources that you can then also use.

Finding Book Reviews

Book reviews appear in scholarly historical journals just as original articles do.

If you're looking for reviews of a specific book, search for that title as a phrase in a database such as JSTOR or Academic Search Complete. To ensure you keep the title as one single phrase, put quotation marks around it. "Past in the Making" will focus your search your search in important ways, avoiding false hits you'd get without those quotation marks.

You can limit your results to book reviews in one of these ways:

  • Use the databases own features to limit the search to book reviews:
    • In JSTOR, you can check the box for "Review" under "Item Type" in the "Narrow By" section.
    • In Academic Search Complete, there is a scroll-down list for "Document Type" near the end of the "Search Options" section. In the "Document Type" list, you can choose "Book Review."
  • Sometimes the database record may not have been marked as a review, even though it should be, so the features above might not find everything you want. If you search without applying those limiters, you can use variations of book and review as search terms to focus your search more. You may want to find reviewed as well as review and books as well as book, so use truncation symbols:
    • In JSTOR, the truncation symbol is a plus sign, so review+ will find review, reviewed, and reviews.
    • In Academic Search Complete, the truncation symbol is an asterisk, so review* would achieve the same result.

If you're seeking reviews of a book that's several decades old and you don't find the reviews in one of our databases, the print series Book Review Index on our Reference Shelves may help.

Other Databases with Important Content

Interlibrary Loan

If you need a book or article that we don't have, you can get it via Interlibrary Loan Details (ILL).