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Roots of Contemporary Issues (Hist 105/305) Research

This page provides links to short videos demonstrating databases required for the Roots of Contemporary Issues research assignment

Transcript: How to Search Proquest Newsstream

This short tutorial will show you how to search Proquest Newsstream for recent newspaper articles.

 

We will start from the newspaper Library Guide.

We have a number of options here including regional news, and historical newspapers.

We will be using the newspaper databases box in the middle of the home page.

 

Newspaper databases allow you to search multiple newspapers at once, refine your search, and

access new and rare historical issues that can be difficult to find on the open web.

 

Let’s open Proquest Newsstream. This is the advanced search window, where

we will enter some words related to our topic. [Enters gaza in first box and women’s rights in the second box of Advanced Search.]

 

We get a lot of hits. Let’s narrow this down to only newspapers. Proquest Newsstream

also contains short news feeds and academic literature, we want real newspaper stories.

 

Here we can see which among the thousands of newspapers in Proquest Newsstream had stories with these keywords, sorted by the number of hits. 

 

This is a very popular topic for regional newspapers. By default the results are sorted by relevance, but I only want the most recent news stories so I’ll sort them by most recent first.

 

This still isn’t perfect, all of these results are about France. They’re recent but not relevant. I’ll go back to sorting by relevance and then narrow the publication date to the last year.

This second result looks interesting. Notice the yellow highlighted text indicating where my keywords appear.

 

If I want to use this I can save it in a variety of formats, print it, or email it to myself. I can make an automatic citation here, but I’ll need to double check the formatting before I use it in my paper. This short tutorial has shown you how to search Proquest Newsstream for recent newspaper articles. 

 

Good luck with your research, and contact the Libraries for help.

Transcript: How to Use Oxford Reference Online

This short tutorial will show you how to use the Oxford Reference database, which contains more than 200 electronic reference books. Encyclopedias are most useful when you are beginning your research, as they give a well-researched summary of the topic.

Wikipedia is a very popular online encyclopedia, but it is less trustworthy than Oxford.

 

Let’s say our topic is how OPEC has affected the political development of middle eastern countries. When looking for encyclopedias, we often need to think of our topic in broad terms, so we’ll search just for “OPEC.”

 

Our first result here is about OPEC, but it’s in an encyclopedia related to finance and banking, I was hoping for something more history focused. I will narrow my search to only history related entries.

 

This first hit seems much better. The entry is titled OPEC while the encyclopedia is titled A Dictionary of Contemporary World History.

 

If I want to cite this source, I will need to remember both the entry and encyclopedia title. As we can see from the symbol, this encyclopedia is unlocked which means we have access to it through the library website. The entry below it is locked, we cannot access it.

 

Here we can narrow our search to include only unlocked or free books, and not restricted. If we just searched for Oxford Reference without going through the WSU library first, we would only have access to free encyclopedias.

 

Let’s open this first entry. It’s only two paragraphs but there is plenty of information we can use to continue our search or to help us if we just need a few facts about OPEC, such as: it was founded in 1960.

 

The automatic citation tool will quickly summarize all the information I’ll need to cite this

in my paper but I’ll need to double check the citation.

 

This short tutorial has shown you how to use the Oxford Reference database to find specialized

encyclopedia entries. Good luck with your research, and contact the Libraries for help.

Transcript: How to Use Sage Knowledge

This short tutorial will show you how to use the Sage Knowledge database to search encyclopedia entries. For this example we will use the keywords: oil embargo.

 

Luckily our first result is an encyclopedia entry.

 

Sage Knowledge carries other sources, so let’s limit our search to just Encyclopedias under Reference materials. It will automatically filter.

 

Let’s use this first result. The entry title is Arab Oil Embargo, and it’s in the Encyclopedia of United States National Security. I will need both the entry and the book title to cite it.

 

This entry is a short summary of the Arab Oil Embargo, but it contains some useful facts, like that the US imports more oil today than during the embargo, and acts as a good starting point for further research. I can download this entry as a PDF to reference later.

 

The citation information I need to use this entry can be found here, but I’ll have to check the formatting before I use it in my paper.

 

Sage also offers some related keywords I could use as well as similar encyclopedias. This short tutorial has shown you how to use the Sage Knowledge database to find specialized encyclopedia entries. Good luck with your research, and contact the Libraries for help!

Transcript: How to Use Advanced Book Search in Search It

This short tutorial will show you how to find books on your topic through advanced search

in Search It, the WSU libraries research discovery system.

 

From the WSU libraries home page click on the advanced search link.

 

This is the advanced search interface. We can use multiple search bars to construct a more precise search than just putting our keywords in a single bar.

 

My topic is about the history of government propaganda and its role in dehumanizing groups of people My keywords are propaganda, government, and dehumanization.

 

If we just search for those words, it will use default settings and look for all three words appearing in any field. If I was just searching for keywords, I might also want to include the word history. Instead, let’s further customize the search.

 

Here I can select which field I want the word to appear in. I really want to focus on propaganda, so I’ll only accept sources that have that word in the title. I can add another line by clicking here.

 

I want government to also be mentioned, but it can be anywhere in the resource.

 

I’m interested in dehumanization, but I might be limiting my search too much if I only accept that word. Some more common terms might be othering, racism, stereotype, or subhuman. I can connect all of these words with the Boolean OR in capital letters.

 

This tells Search It that any of these words is acceptable when we also have propaganda in the title and government anywhere. History isn’t really a keyword, but I want to limit my search to history books. I’ll add another line and then limit history to subject.

 

Here we can filter by material type, language, or date. For secondary sources, more recent sources are better. I’ll limit my search to print books, but I may also decide for ebooks later, my language to English, and by date as needed. I spent a lot of time refining my search term, so there are only a few hits. There are more filters available on this side bar, but I don't really need them with less than 10 results.

 

I like this first result so let's open it and have a closer look. I want to use a scholarly monograph so let's check the details. There is only a single author –not an editor- listed so it’s a monograph. How about scholarly? I’m not familiar with the publisher, so that doesn’t help.

 

But, the book has bibliographical references, so I know the author cited his sources. It’s also published in 2013 but lists a date range of 1918-1933 and is about Germany, not the US, perfect for my paper. The call number tells me where I can find this book in the library.

 

I can also request it here and library staff will pull the book and have it waiting for me at the circulation desk tomorrow morning. I want to find another book, but some of the others are American focused.

 

To expand my search I could use more OR modifiers with synonyms for my keywords, or I can accept sources with propaganda mentioned anywhere.

 

What about this result? It’s also about interwar Germany. Maybe I can refine my topic to the contemporary impact of German dehumanization campaigns during the interwar period.

 

This book says Check Holdings. So it isn’t in the library right now. That’s not a problem, so long as we have around five days to wait for it. I'll sign in here and request the item from our partner Summit libraries. It will be delivered to the library of my choice or to my home if I'm a global campus student and they will send me an email when it arrives.

 

I also want to check if there are any good ebooks I can use. I’ll change the material type filter and search again. This book looks interesting. Under access options there’s a link to the company that carries the ebook. I'll have to sign in again to open it. From here I can read it online, or download it for 21 days. Different companies carry different books and have different access policies.

 

This short tutorial has shown you how to find books on your topic through advanced search in Search It, the WSU libraries research discovery system Good luck with your research, and contact the Libraries for help!

Transcript: How to Use JSTOR

This short tutorial will show you how to perform an advanced search in JSTOR using filters and basic Boolean logic. This is the JSTOR advanced Search page.

 

I want to find articles on the history of slave trading that isn’t about the United States. I want any mention of slave, slaves, or slavery, so I’ll type in the root of these words with an asterisk at the end.

 

In Boolean searches, this means I want any combination of letters that begins with that root. I’ll do the same thing with trade. I don’t want the United States, so I’ll use the NOT term with United States in quotes and then change from ‘All fields’ to ‘Item title.’

 

If the search engine finds United States in the title, it will not present that result. I could search for NOT United States in ‘All fields’, but since that would will look at every word of the article it will remove anything that even briefly mentions the United States and even citations in the bibliography that have United States in them.

 

If I feel like my search is too narrow, I can expand it by using more asterisks and more search terms linked with OR. If I feel it is too broad, I can use more AND and NOT modifiers. Clever use of these modifiers will let me include anything related to my topic and exclude anything irrelevant. For now I like my search term how it is.

 

Here I can change the access type I want to be able to download these sources to use with my paper later, so I’ll keep it on ‘Content I can access’ I can refine by date, item type, or language.

 

I’ll limit to articles and English. I only want articles written in the past 25 years as well. Further down there are more advanced search options like publication title and journal filters.

 

Here I can limit to just history journals, though other kinds of journals might also match my topic.

 

Let's search and see what we find.

 

The first result is about the British slave trade, the second is more African focused. I think investigating the African view of slavery might be interesting, so I'll open the second one. I can read this source right from right here.

 

This will help me decide if it might be worth reading further or using in my paper. If I want to save this article I can download it as a PDF.

 

This short tutorial has shown you how to perform an advanced search in JSTOR using basic Boolean logic.

 

Good luck with your research, and contact the Libraries for help!

Transcript: How to Use Project Muse

This short tutorial will show you how to use Project Muse to search for scholarly journal articles. 

 

Project Muse is a great database for exploring topics on history and the humanities. 

 

Like all scholarly databases you should access Project Muse through the WSU library to avoid being asked to pay for content.

 

Click on advanced search from the menu  in the upper right corner of the page. You will need to enter several search keywords or phrases to retrieve a focused set of citations. In the separate search bars, I will enter India, Protest, and “social change” in quotation marks because it is a phrase.

 

On the left there are a number of filters. We'll narrow our content type to journal articles. For books, it's better to use SearchIt. Then we'll narrow our research area to history.

 

This will help focus my search. As you look at these citations think about how they all fit my search even though the titles are very different on the surface. 

 

You can select either an HTML document or PDF version of the article and open it. Here is my article. It fits my search criteria perfectly though I hadn't thought of protesting in quite that way. 

 

This short tutorial has shown you how to use Project Muse to search for scholarly journal articles. 

 

Good luck with your research and contact the libraries for help.

Transcript: How to Use Historical New York Times

This short video will show you how to effectively search the Historical New York Times for news

articles. The Historical New York Times is one of many Proquest Newspaper databases.

 

The Advanced Search page gives you more options to focus your search. I need information from before 1950 and my topic is the history of protecting endangered species.

 

I can use quotation marks around a common phrase when searching, so the search engine will look for the phrase, not the individual words.

 

I will limit by publication date and select “before this date” and enter 1950. I’ll also limit results to articles only. Sometimes ads, comics, and editorials are useful as primary sources, but I want a legitimate newspaper article.

 

This gave me only three articles, that’s not good, I was expecting hundreds. It’s possible that the phrase “endangered species” was not commonly used before 1950.

 

I’ll have to find some different terms in the search box.

 

Note that the search box saves my initial filters. Maybe the word “extinction” will work better. I’m interested in extinct plants, so I’ll add the word plants as well. The new results list is much larger and more comprehensive.

 

Still, there’s a problem. Many of these results are about power plants and industrial plants, not the kinds of plants I was thinking of. Sometimes it takes several tries to find the right search term. Instead of plants, let’s try “plant life.” This is a much smaller but better list of results.

 

The first article is about forest plant life, the second about preserving native wildflowers, the third about United Nations efforts to protect plant life. I can re-sort the list by oldest articles first and find that my search brought up relevant resources dated back to 1901.

 

Let’s return to the UN article, I think that will be most useful to me. I can read this article from here. I can also save it as a PDF, email it to myself,or print it. The automatic citation tool will quickly summarize all the information I need to cite this article in my paper, but I’ll need to check the format before I use it.

 

This short video has shown you how to effectively search the Historical New York Times for news articles. 

 

Good luck with your research, and contact the Libraries for help!

Transcript: How to Use London Times

This short tutorial will show you how to search the historical London Times.

 

From the homepage, let’s click on ‘Advanced Search.’ 

 

There are many options on the London Times search screen to help you focus your search.

 

Most likely you will want to look under ‘publication section’ and limit your search to news items but for primary sources advertising,editorials, announcements, and even illustrations can be appropriate.

 

Under ‘publication date’ we can limit the date range to before 1980. Consult your own research assignments for your specific primary source date requirements. 

 

As you can see, this archive goes back to 1785. My topic is Ocean Pollution, so I’ll put those two keywords in the search box. 

 

There are very few matches! That tells me that I need to rethink my search terms Rethinking your terms and the way you word your topic is a critical part of effective research. In this case, it appears that ocean pollution is too modern, people must have used different terms back then or didn’t think of pollution in terms of the entire ocean.

 

I’ll change ocean to water. I’m getting more hits, but many of these are about local drinking water. A few are about rivers and seas. Sea may have been more commonly used than ocean in pre-1980s London. I’ll try that. I’m getting a number of articles about oil pollution at sea.

 

These thumbnails of each article highlight the relevant portion of text. Sadly the article titles are not always useful. I’ll have to explore the text to see what's actually relevant. I can click on the article title to read it online.

 

The text is very small. I'll magnify it here. This article is fascinating as it gives us insight into the questions people were asking about oil pollution. 

 

This is an excellent primary source as it shows the assumptions and anxieties about ocean pollution at the time.

 

I can print, download, email, or cite the article here. The automatic citation tool should give me all the information I need to cite this in my paper, but I’ll need to double check the formatting before I use it. 

 

This short video has shown you how to effectively search the London Times for news articles.

 

Good luck with your research, and contact the Libraries for help!

Transcript: How to Find Primary Sources in Search It

This short tutorial will show you how to use SearchIt to find primary sources.

 

From the library home page click on the Search It Advanced Search link.

 

If you’re unfamiliar with Search It, please watch the Advanced Search in Search It tutorial.

 

My topic is on gun control in Europe and I want a primary source on the historical roots of gun control I’ll use the phrase “gun control” and because I may be dealing with antiquated sources, I’ll also use the phrase “bearing arms”.

 

I’ll accept either phrase in my sources, I don’t need both together, so I’ll connect them with an OR. On this line I’ll string together a list of search terms describing types of primary sources I’ll accept such as letters, diaries, interviews, or speeches.

 

Search It has no native way to filter for only primary sources, but this method often gets useful results. The OR connecting them means I’ll accept any of these terms, and the asterisk means I’ll accept any words with those roots. So speech, speeches, or speechmaking are all part of this search term.

 

Finally I’ll limit my results to before 1980. Make sure you check your assignment for what your date parameters should be. These sources look promising. I need to focus on non US sources and I want early cases of gun control so let’s check out this result.

 

This source is accessed like any other digital resource by clicking on the title and then the link in access options.

 

This short video has shown you how to effectively search for primary sources using Search It.

 

Good luck with your research, and contact the Libraries for help!

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