ENGL 4998 - Honors Colloquium

Finding Sources

Vanderbilt University Library Catalog

Selecting the best search scope for your research needs:

Library Catalog vs. VU Collections vs. Articles

Search Scope What is included? When should I use it?
Library Catalog
  • Broadest search scope
  • Results will include books and ebooks, articles, and media like DVDs
  • A great option when you are just beginning your research process.
  • Use Library Catalog when you want to survey the research landscape for your topic
VU Collections
  • Focuses on VU owned items, physical and digital
  • Results will include books and ebooks, and media like DVDs
  • Digital collections like the TV News Archive will also be included in your results
  • You have defined your information needs
  • Use VU Collections when you are ready to create a tailored search for your topic
Articles
  • Content from selected VU databases
  • Popular and scholarly articles
  • Use Articles to find popular and scholarly articles on your topic.
  • The Articles scope does not search across all databases accessible to the Vanderbilt community.
  • Not finding the articles you need or want more database options?

For a more detailed explanation of your search scope options consult What am I searching?

 

Searching the Vanderbilt Library Catalog - Some Tips


Keyword vs. Subject Searching

Step 1:  Start your search process by brainstorming a list of keywords that describe the main concepts of your topic or question.

Step 2:  Use these keywords for your initial searches.

Step 3:  Use the Subject Heading links in the Library Catalog record to refine your search.

Screen shot of catalog record for book Toni Morrison and the Maternal

Finding Books About an Author (Author as Subject), Including Criticism

  • Select Subject and enter the author's name (last name first).
  • Special characters like accents and umlauts can be ignored.

Screen shot - Advanced search (subject)

 

Finding Individual Works in a Collection

  • Select Any field and enter keyword(s) in the title of the work.
  • Select Author/Creator and enter the author's name (last name first).

Screen shot - Advanced Keyword search

 

Finding Criticism on an Individual Work

  • Select Any field and enter keyword(s) in the title of the work.
  • Select Subject and enter the author's name (last name first).

Screen shot - Advanced keyword search

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides access to "peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations."

What Google Scholar does not contain, in most cases, is the fulltext of the articles -- but it does work with the library's Findit@VU service to help you get to the fulltext when available.  If you are on campus, Findit@VU will automatically appear -- but if you are off campus it won't.   Not clicking on Findit@VU may lead to you receiving a message indicating that you must purchase the article to view it. 

Bookmark this link as your access point to Google Scholar to ensure that the Findit@VU links appears in your searches or follow the instructions for setting your preferences in the video below.  Don't get caught paying for articles when you don't have to!