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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

LRA 1 Pt. 1: Introduction

Hello, my name is Corey Johnson. I am the Roots of Contemporary Issues liaison librarian and I want to welcome you to this series of videos on this first one about library research assignment number one. As RCI Librarian I am available to help you with any and all research aspects of this course, and in particular the semester long research project. And I want to show you right away a little bit about how to find me.

So I'm going to share my screen and here you see the home page for the WSU libraries. A pretty simple URL, just which you can see in the upper left here. In terms of getting to specific RCI related materials, in the near center here if you click on subject guides, this icon, you go to a screen which is a warehouse of information about learning information about specific databases, specific classes, and that kind of thing. So you can go to the search bar and actually type in as you can see here, Roots of Contemporary Issues or RCI to find it. You can also just go to the address bar here at the top of the page and type RCI off the end of the beginning part of the URL and that also will take you to the Roots of Contemporary Issues library guide, which looks like this. And so you'll see it goes obviously to a home page. There's COVID-19 information about borrowing materials at the top, which may be helpful for you. At this point I want to just point out some information about contacting me. So further on the screen you’ll see some introductory information about the project and then down here in the lower left, contact information for me. So you can email me by clicking on this icon, you can call me on the phone and I will return your call if you prefer to do things that way, and then you can also click on this schedule appointment link, and what's nice about that is it interfaces with my calendar so you can select half hour consultation times and I can consult with you via Zoom.

So, by way of introduction a little bit more background information. Roots of Contemporary Issues started in the fall of 2012 and this semester-long research project has been a part of the course since its beginning. So literally tens of thousands of students have now done this research project before you, and I can report that they largely get through the process unscathed and actually to the contrary do quite well with it. We typically hear a lot of positive feedback in the end of course evaluations about the research project. One of the reasons why students really like it so much is that that they actually get to pick the topic that they use for this project. So as you're doing LRA number one, one of the important things to know is that finding a research topic is probably the most important part of LRA number one and I'll talk a little bit more about a quality research topic in a minute, but getting that topic is really important. The other thing is students often think that as they go through the LRAs that they might be choosing different topics for each LRA and I want you to understand that that's not the case, that indeed you're gonna be choosing one topic and using it throughout the semester. Now, that topic will probably be refined and that's important, and that's a key piece to doing well with this but essentially you'll be using one topic area throughout.

It's really important that you do well on this project. There's a number of reasons why. One of them, of course, is the research project in most RCI sections, typically is anywhere between 25 to 40 percent of the final grade in the class. So there's that incentive, but another piece is that students often use the final research paper as one of the items in their Junior Writing Portfolio. So this is another way that the materials from this course often get used.

Now in turn, a few other last things in terms of conclusion and then we'll actually get into the content of LRA number one. One of the things that's important is that these videos are for both history 105 and 305 students. When it comes to the research project itself, the process that both 105 and 305 students go through is essentially the same. Oftentimes individual instructors will assign a little bit longer length to the final paper for 305 students versus 105, but again the process that you go through, the sources that you get, and that kind of thing are essentially the same. It's also important to note that in RCI we have created a set of what we call our LRA templates for LRA 1, 2, 3, and 4. Instructors need to use the skeleton of these templates in the work so that there is consistency across the various sections of RCI. However, there is also room for them to make minor alterations, and so one of the things about these videos is that they will speak to the generic template but you're going to also want to be very familiar with your instructor's actual assignment prompts because they will give you more detail about precisely what you need to do.

Let me give you a quick example of that. You need to find, for example, some of what are called History Monographs, or History books as part of this project. Well some instructors might tell you that you need three of those books, whereas other instructors might tell you and you need two of them. Some instructors might tell you that those books need to be published in the last 10 years in order to be acceptable. Others might tell you that they need to be published perhaps in the last 25 years, or have no publication time restriction at all. So, sometimes those various details are things that you need to pay attention to for your individual instructor. And then finally, and I just want to reiterate again that another really important piece is that this topic you're using over the course of all of the different LRAs.

LRA 1 Pt 2: Topic Formation

Okay, so now let me transition into actually talking about LRA number one and I'm going to show you what the template LRAs look like. You can see that this is a word document, and it is not the way you might see it in your class. Your LRA might for example be embedded within the blackboard space or take some other format. Obviously it may have a slightly different set of words or that kind of thing as well, but again I'm going to just show you the template one today and as I scroll down to part one or to LRA number one, you'll see here that it says Contemporary Newspapers and Wikipedia Articles and so I'm going to be talking about those in a minute. What your instructor asks you to do may be slightly different than finding those resources and I'll talk about that momentarily.

The first thing though that you're going to want to do is think about your topic, and then this first question is about stating your topic and let me tell you a couple of things that are fairly standard in terms of topics that are appropriate for the RCI research project. First of all, the project should be something that's of interest to you and I mentioned that already. So, history is about everything that has happened and so everyone should be able to find something that is of interest to them in terms of topics for this particular project. I'll give you one hand. Sometimes students use either what they're going to be doing as a major at WSU or even a career path beyond WSU as a way of thinking about what sort of particular topic that they might want. So that's one way for example if you're struggling to think of a topic you could think along those lines. Also in your course, if you look at your syllabus you're going to be talking about the roots of a number of different contemporary issues and you may find that that syllabus and the topics listed there is helpful as well.

Beyond something that's of interest to you, it's something that has to have historical connections. So in other words you can't write about something that is very recent and exclusively write about that. Bitcoin, for example, would be a topic that's way too contemporary to actually explore the historical roots of it. Now some instructors say your topic must explore at least pre-1980 history, some say at least pre-1990 history, or whatever. So be sure that you look into that for your particular section, but it is definitely true that this is a history class and you are writing a history paper so largely you will be looking at events of the deeper historical past in terms of writing this particular paper.

So the last thing beyond the historical connections, is that your writing for most instructors anyway needs to be international in scope. So it can involve the United States, but it needs to be largely about things outside of the United States. So you would not be writing a paper on the U.S. presidency, for example. Although, you could for example be writing about the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and obviously with the U.S. involved, but if you focus on the perspectives of the Soviet Union you would be fine.

In terms of this video, what I'm going to do is pick a topic to search a database and to find some resources, and hopefully this topic will fit the mold for an RCI topic. So I am an educator and have been interested, as you might guess, in education for a long time and I've also grown up learning at least a little bit about the Japanese education system and about its high quality, and so that's where I think I'm going to go to begin my research is I'm going to look at sort of these foundational features or historical features of the Japanese education system and perhaps ultimately look to see how that varies from western societies, or that kind of thing.

Now, as I move down the LRA you'll notice that there's this second question finding a contemporary documentary source, and in the template LRA there's also something about finding Wikipedia Articles as well. I'm not going to talk in this video about Wikipedia, I think most everyone has used it the point if your instructor asks you to go to Wikipedia is to find sets of keywords as it says right here in the title of this question: find some good keywords. You won't ultimately be citing Wikipedia in your paper, but again Wikipedia can be a good place to get encyclopedic information and good background information and keywords. Your instructor in LRA 1 also might ask you to find some specialized encyclopedia entries as well.

LRA 1 Pt. 3: Contemporary Newspapers

I am going to focus in this video just on finding a Contemporary Newspaper Article which is part of nearly every experience students have in RCI. Right now the database that we're recommending for that, which you can see me highlight right here, is called Access World News. There's also a database called ProQuest Global Newsstream, and one called Nexus Uni. So, we basically have three databases that provide newspaper information from a wide set of newspapers.

Before we actually go into a database though, I want to just explain quickly. You'll know obviously that on the web you can get news from a huge variety of places. So with varying levels of credibility, and you can use a variety of sources on the open web in order to get a Newspaper Article. Lots of newspapers of course, if not most newspapers now, provide some kind of web content and so you can use that. One of the reasons why we suggest you use one of the library databases is that it indexes thousands if not tens of thousands of newspapers all in one place and in order to get into the system they have a certain amount of credibility to begin with as authoritative news sources. So that's why you might want to use that.

I'm going to click on this thing called the Newspapers LibGuide, which is right here. And by the way, access to these different databases will be somewhere in your LRAs. I'm going to go to this Newspaper LibGuide, which looks like this because it provides links to all of the different potential newspaper databases, and so if I scroll down here, past the specific COVID information, to this Newspaper Databases section you'll see here is Global News Stream, Nexus Uni, and one called Access World News, and I'm going to go ahead and click on that and go into that database. The reason being that Access World News, as the name implies, is our most comprehensive news international news source and that's can be really important for this project because again you're looking at international issues.

Now one thing I want to point out right away about this interface is that you'll notice there's this section called Suggested Topics and it basically takes all potential topics or research areas and divides it into these different--you can see--these different blocks here of information. If you were a person at this point who doesn't have a very good idea what topic you might want, this is a pretty good way to develop some topic ideas. You could come in here and for example say, "Oh yeah I'm pretty interested in religion" for example and click on that and see what kinds of things are out there or whatever--wherever your interest might lie.

If we go up to the top you'll see of course that there's this basic search box which is common obviously to all databases. I'm going to go to more search options or to the Advanced Search options and we'll recommend that in all of these videos just because you oftentimes can get to the information you need more quickly if you use an advanced search screen. So I'm going to go ahead... I already mentioned my topic is the historical development of the Japanese education system so I'm going to put "Japan*" in here and then in another line I'm going to put "education in school." And just a few quick things about the syntax of my search, first of all, you notice I put in "Japan*" with an asterisk, which is Shift+8, that star at the end of it. That basically will allow me to get multiple endings off that beginning word "Japan." So I can get "Japan;" I can get "Japan's like possessive Japan's education system" for example; or the word "Japanese" which could be helpful as well. Down here you can see I've got "educat*" which isn't even a word but that will get me "education, educational, education, educator..." a variety of things. This will get me "school, school, schooling," and I also have an OR... a capital OR between "educat*" and "school." The reason being that education and schooling are synonyms, right? They basically mean the same type of conceptual idea. So that would be important as well. And when you think about your topic, you're going to want to think about variant words that describe it because if the best so to speak newspaper article out there uses the word education but not the word school, then you might not see it and this allows us to get either or both.

Now that we have our keyword set up, I'm going to go over here to the different fields that you can select. Most of these databases there are three primary places that you might look. One is sort of a default searching all fields which is if you just leave this alone it does that and it searches across all of these fields. The other thing that you can do is you can limit it to all text or you can expand it to all text, which means it'll search every word of every article. This, in a newspaper database tends to get you way too many irrelevant things but it's something important you might want to know. The other thing that you might want to do is click on headline. Headline is essentially the title of the article and so which describes basically what that article is about. So sometimes that can be a good idea too to limit right down to things that are in the headline. This is going to limit to something that's the newest which is important. We want to get a contemporary newspaper article and in fact many instructors require that your contemporary newspaper article actually is published for example in the last year or the last couple of years. You'll also notice that you can refine by location here and for us since I'm looking at Japan I could limit to just the sources in Asia for example. I'm going to just hold off on doing that but again that might be a fairly smart tactic as well.

With that setup I click search and I'm going to get a large set of information. In fact I'm getting you know over 13,000, you can see here, different news items starting with the most recent things first. Now at this point one of the things that you might want to do to help you narrow and your instructor might require is that news comes in a variety of formats: audio clips, blogs, newswire information, a variety of different things. If we want to stick strictly to newspapers I can click on this and narrow by that format type which hopefully will do... there we go. And so now I'm just looking at newspaper articles. So if I start looking at this list I want to think about several things about newspaper articles. One is that newspaper articles should be something that provide a contemporary example of your topic that you can look and research the roots of. It is also important that your newspaper article you don't view it as something that will explain the entire history of your topic and in fact it really should be a contemporary example. For example I'm not going to look through these newspaper articles and try to find an article that describes or summarizes the entire history of the Japanese educational system. That's not what I'm looking for, but I want something that gets at a specific aspect of that system in the contemporary world and why discussions about the Japanese education system are still pertinent today.

So this first one says "The Japanese School Girls release first album," so wow that doesn't you know this modern funk rock group has released an album well that doesn't sound like anything that's probably going to help. Except maybe that helps me in thinking about you know maybe I want to look at music education as a way to narrow my topic and as I go down there's something in here about canned fish from Japan being fed to school kids. In fact there's three different articles about it and you'll notice this in these systems that oftentimes the same news article gets run in a variety of different places and so you'll see the same news article which is a bit annoying but that's something you have to deal with. So I'm not necessarily interested in canned fish so I'm going to just keep going down and look and I'm just kind of scanning here the different things here. That might be of interest and here's one. Okay, so I see this one. It says images of Buddhist sculpture in the Peshawar museum included in Japan in school books in Japan. So I might think you know one of the things that's of interest to me is how religion is or is not a part of sort of a standard educational experience in a particular country and so maybe I want to focus on that and so this could be an example of putting particular photographs of scholars religious sculptures in a book and what that might be and this article could work for that. Or if I look down here... farther this next one is something about sex education and so that could be again just a sub topic area that I might want to look at. I see this article down here... "No end in sight to debate over Japanese school year." So one of the things I'm pretty familiar with is that Japan has a long school year, like as opposed to the U.S. So I could, I can investigate that kind of thing.

At any rate, when I find a newspaper article that I think might work well, like this one about Buddha, I can click on it. And so here's the entire article and of course I can just download this to my computer or otherwise click this envelope icon to email it to myself. I can also, if I go here to the cite icon, I can cite it in Chicago manual of style which is what we use for this RCI project. And so here is, I'm highlighting this particular citation and I can cut and paste that and use that in my LRA. So that's all I wanted to tell you about that, but one last thing about the Chicago style and whether or not this is an appropriate Chicago style citation. One of the things, if I click here on this tab and go back to the Roots of Contemporary Issues LibGuide there is a link on the left side here, the left navigation bar, to Chicago Style Guide and what this is, is a reproduction of the quick guide from the University of Chicago people, you know the ultimate authorities on the topic of Chicago citation, and it gives a little bit about what those should... different bibliographic and footnote citations should look like. So here's a section on newspaper articles and so it shows right here an example of what one might look like. So if you pull a citation from a database, you probably want to go in and always compare with this to make sure that it matches up well with what's written here because again this is the stuff that's the ultimate authority on the topic.

LRA 1 Pt. 4: Research Questions

In terms of going back quickly to the LRA itself and the instructions for the questions, the last thing that most instructors ask in LRA number one is for you to write at least a couple preliminary research questions. So at this point in completing the LRA you have a contemporary newspaper article that hopefully you've read and thought about, analyzed. You may have gone to Wikipedia and read some Wikipedia articles about your topic. You may have collected and read and thought about a small set of reference encyclopedia entries. So you have some beginning knowledge about what you're doing and so you use this knowledge to help you write a couple of research questions. Now these are rough drafts but they will guide you along your way.

So the question is well, what makes a good research question and if I go back to the LRA one library guide and you'll see by the way here as I scroll down there's a bunch of information in here about links to particular databases to help you in LRA one and videos that show you ways you might want to search LRA number one and etc. Here for example is a link to Access World News that we talked about previously. If I go to the bottom of this page there is information about writing research questions, writing quality historical research questions, and so there's these six items here.

I'm going to just summarize those points by simply saying that one of the things that you want to be sure of is that your research questions are some somehow debatable. So even if you're looking at sort of the causes of a particular historical phenomenon or event which is common in this class you want to try to pick something that, where there's at least some debate about what causes are most important or that kind of thing. So take a look at that. You want to be sure that your research questions are focused perhaps by time frame or parts of the world or both. You don't want to be very general. The history of the death penalty is way too broad, but the history of how the death penalty became used in a particular culture at a particular time period, well that has far more potential merit and then the last thing in this LRA is a little bit about an actual example and here what's nice about this particular box is the information gives you an idea of what inaccurate or incomplete research questions might look like and then an idea of what a better or a higher quality research question might look like.

So please use these two to a value as well. So that leads me to the end of this video and again just quickly to summarize this is for the LRA number one template. Please feel free again to contact me, I'll just close with that. Contact me, Corey Johnson, either through email, or scheduling appointment, or through telephone, through the LRA LibGuide. Thank you.

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.

LRA 2 Pt. 1: Orientation

Hello my name is Corey Johnson. I am the Roots Contemporary Issues Liaison Librarian and I want to welcome you to the LRA number two video. I want to start by just going through some introductory information. First of all, if you see here this is the home page for the libraries. I first want to give you contact information for me. My role as a liaison is to help you with all research aspects of RCI and in particular the semester-long research project that you're engaging in, that includes these LRAs and again the final research paper.

So this again is the library's home page and you can see here that it's the URL is fairly simple and to get to RCI-specific information, if you clicked on this subject guides icon in the center of the page you get to a warehouse of information by subject matter and by resource and by course as well. So you can go here and either search for RCI or Roots of Contemporary Issues, or you can even just go up to the address bar and off the tail end of the URL, change it so it says RCI and you'll get to the RCI library guide which looks like this. And there is specific COVID-19 information here that you may want to avail yourself of and there is also some introductory information about the research process related to this project. Finally down here in the lower left is information about me, how you can email me, call me on the phone, or even schedule an appointment. So these are these are half hour consultation sessions and if you click on that link you can set up zoom sessions with me where we can share screen and go through searches and give a more specific kind of individualized consultation. So please avail yourself of all those options. Again, my job is to help you in this process.

RCI started back in the Fall of 2012 and I've been a part of the program since the beginning so literally tens of thousands of students have done this research project and I've worked with a great deal of them so I have a lot of experience in helping students with research in RCI. I also by way of introduction want to point out a few other important things about this video and what I'm about to tell you. One is that the research project videos and the LRAs basically themselves are essentially the same for both history 105 and 305 students. Probably the only main exception to this is sometimes instructors require that 305 final papers be a bit longer but essentially most elements of the research process are the same. So you can listen to this as a 105 or 305 student. It's also important to tell you that these videos are geared towards what are called the LRA templates which is a skeletal set of requirements for all RCI sections in terms of what you need to do as part of this research process now individual instructors can make alterations and amendments to the templates. So just know that in addition to listening to the information here you also need to pay careful attention to your instructor's actual assignment prompts so that you know for sure you're getting all of the correct information. As a quick example in these videos I might tell you for example that you need to find books that cover deeper history. Well a specific instructor might take the general idea of deeper history and say you need to find books that cover pre-1990 history for example or something like that. So be sure that you are paying attention to those details.

I also want to just mention to you as you start LRA number two, a little bit about what you did in LRA one and what was important there. Probably the most important thing hopefully that you got out of LRA number one is that you're moving forward with a solid topic idea, that topic being something that is of interest to you, is a topic where there are deeper historical routes, and a topic most likely that covers not specifically the United States but is more international in flavor. So hopefully yours do that and at this point you have some sources as well most likely a newspaper article and perhaps some other materials that you've gathered for your research. Know that in LRA number two you are not starting with a new topic you're actually carrying forward the topic and continuing to refine the one that you had from LRA number one. So mostly in LRA number two what we are looking for is our historical monographs and or books, history books and history journal articles.

LRA 2 Pt. 2: History Monographs

So I want to show you some characteristics of history monographs if you want to look here. So we're going to be looking for history monographs in our main search discovery system called Search It and the good news is that Search It contains about 20 million unique books and you need a handful of them right for your research. So hopefully there's some that are relevant to your topic, but what's also important to note is that not all if and in fact not nearly all of those books are history monographs. So when we go in, the system is not smart enough to tell you that something's a history monograph. It'll tell you if something's a book but you need to do some further detective work to be sure you're on the right page.

So what I have here is a list of six different characteristics. One of the things that you should know is that historians typically tend to write solo. So if you're looking at a book that has one or maybe occasionally two authors then you're probably on the right track. The second thing is University publisher. Historians oftentimes work in academic settings and so they publish with University publishers. So if your book... in the record for your book it says it was published at the University of North Carolina Press, for example, that's a pretty good sign it's a scholarly book and would qualify as a history monograph. The third thing deals with subject headings. You might be familiar that books have subject headings or a set of controlled vocabulary that librarians assign to books and they say well this book is primarily about these one two or perhaps three different things. When the word history or other historical kinds of terms like 20th century or the 1950s or something like that are part of the subject headings it's a pretty good sign that that book is fully about history which is what you want for this project, so be looking for that.

In addition to subject headings we know that books in libraries have call numbers and call numbers is just representative of the address for that book on the shelf. In most academic libraries we use what's called a Library of Congress system which is an A to Z system with the letters of the alphabet standing for different subject or discipline areas. So those relating to history in the various parts and regions of the world are the letters D E and F. So if you find a book in the system and it has a call number that begins with a D, E, or an F that is a pretty good sign that you are on the right track. I am also going to add the letter H here as well. H is the social sciences and social scientists and historians often write in similar ways on similar kinds of topics and so oftentimes if your call number begins with the letter H that can be helpful as well.

The next thing is that your book records should say and you'll see this as a direct quote: "includes bibliographical references". This is really an important thing. The libraries collect all different kinds of books including works of non-fiction and works of fiction, popular novels, children's books, and things like that as well. So basically if it says "includes bibliographical references" it's saying that in this book the author cited his or her sources. So you're going to want to see that in the books that you use. It just shows that it's a scholarly book and again the author cited his or her sources.

Then the last thing about history monographs is we want you to find books that were published more recently, and in fact some instructors say they want you to find books published in the last 25 years, but at the same time books that cover deeper history and again your individual instructors might decide what they mean specifically by deeper history, so I'm going to say that one more time because that's a little bit it seems it might potentially be a little bit confusing. We want things that are published more recently but that actually cover deeper history. The coverage of deeper history is simple for this class. It's because you're writing about the historical roots of a topic so you need to go back in deeper history. The reason why we want things published more recently is that because in the academic world we tend to look at knowledge as sort of like the bricks in a house if you will and so as people come and do research they consider what people have done in the past and they add additional bricks to this overall house of knowledge. In other words, more recently published things should take into account what has been written in the past and hopefully reflect our most current thinking on your topic. So again that's why you might want things that are published more recently.

Now let's go ahead and go into LRA number two. So I'm going to click on this link within the library guide and you'll notice here that there are a bunch of different links to various things in here including links to videos that talk to you about how to use search it, here's our book discovery system, and here's a link to Search It. I also want to show you... you can see this is a word document version of the LRAs and so this is part two or LRA number two for monographs. Your instructor may provide the LRA text the actual assignment text in a word document he or she may provide it in Blackboard it may look something like this or it might look somewhat different don't worry about that but ultimately what you want to do is to be sure that you get to search it. Our main discovery system.

I'm going to go ahead and just add a tab and go to the library's homepage which has Search It right on it. So regardless of how you get there you need to get to Search It. I'm going to also suggest as we do in all of these videos that you go to advanced search not just type in a topic right here. So if I click on advanced search I just get more options which will help us narrow more quickly and efficiently to the materials that we need.

So I'm going to do a search for a topic that hopefully fits the mold for an RCI topic. I'm going to look at the historical roots of the development of educational system in the country of Kenya. So again, I'm going to... hopefully this fits the parameters for a good RCI topic. I am interested in education, so it fits interest. I'm looking at Africa, Kenya in particular so I've got an international flavor and I know that looking at educational systems there's going to be plenty of materials about historical roots of that. So I think I've got my bases covered you'll notice that I put in three... I filled in three different boxes here. I put in Kenya in one and I put an asterisk at the end this star - shift eight on your keyboard - that allows you to get multiple endings off that beginning word. So I can get the word Kenya, or Kenyan, or even Kenya's possessive like Kenya’s educational system and then on the second line you'll see I've got educat or school which again I've got the asterisks here again so I can get educate, education, educational, school, schools, schooling. You'll also notice I have this OR between the two. This is because school and education are somewhat synonyms they get the same conceptual ideas and so you'll want to think about that for your topic as well. What if there are multiple words that describe it be sure you're including all of those words with ORs between them because in theory the best book out there on my topic may use the word school but not the word education in the title and so therefore we might not get it unless we have a healthy set of like terms and then finally you'll see I've got histor here which is short obviously for history, historical, historian and we do this because the system has so many books in it we're hoping for one that will again cover that deeper history and so this can sometimes be a helpful way to do that is to actually search for the word history.

If you're not having a lot this may be one of the things that you want to not search to in order to expand what you're doing. I'm also here going to change this any field to the title field. Now I may have to back off on that because that's a pretty rigorous restriction on my search but I figure that if I can find a book that says something in the title like the history of Kenyan education system or education in Kenya a history or something like that those might be the books that would be the best for the research that I want to do. I'm going to also as a last thing before we click search go ahead and limit by material type over here I can limit to either two kinds of two different formats of books in print right here or eBooks. Both of them are completely fair game for your work in RCI. There tend to be more print books than eBooks. So I'm going to go ahead and limit to that. It's also worth mentioning here that during the COVID period obviously you have access to eBooks with an internet connection but you also have access to print books and other print materials in the library as well which you can actually have sent to whatever home location you want. And get a hold of me at coreyj,, email me there if you have further questions about that.

So with this setup I'm going to go ahead and click search and if I scroll down and look at my results list you'll see here that everything has a print book label so I'm on the right track. I'm looking for books and I'm getting books in my results. However again, not all of these are necessarily history monographs. So if I look at this first one there's definitely some problems here. One is that there's a whole bunch of different authors here there's a bunch of different people listed, and I had mentioned to you, if we go back for just a moment and look, that there are a number of different characteristics of history monographs including that they typically have one author. You'll also notice here that this was published quite a long time ago in 1986 which is probably fairly old and so this is not a history monograph. In fact, another thing about it is it says it's edited by somebody which means that it's what's called an edited volume or an anthology, meaning it's essentially a set of articles, separate articles written by separate people that, although on the same theme of some kind, but that are put together in a single book these are not history monographs. In other words, edited volumes and anthologies are not that and you can see even here on the second one that this one also says edited by. So again this would not be... This would not be a a history monograph. Also you'll notice that this one says it's a handbook. This one here says it's encyclopedia. This next one, the fourth item also says it's a handbook. Handbook, encyclopedias, dictionaries; these are reference works in other words. They have lots of different authors and they have lots of different individual entries in them they are not a history monograph.

So none of these first four work and in fact if I scroll down this one has some merit but except it was published in 1973 which is probably a little bit too early. It's not until I get to this ninth item, this one, a history of modern education in Kenya 1895 to 1991 that I really think I've hit on one that would work quite well. There's one author, it was published a while ago, but again not all of these six characteristics are necessarily going to be true every time. Historians also tend to write by using date ranges in the titles of their work so this is probably definitely written by a historian. If I click on the title I'll see the full record for this item, or at least I hope I will. It looks like this and so I'm going to kind of continue my detective work from here in terms of looking for this book and seeing if it would work out well for LRA number two. So again you can see here there's one author. You can see these subject headings here in blue and I said if the word history or other terms that describe a historical time period were there that would work. So this shows that this book would be good. You can also click on any of these hyperlinks and it'll take you to more books that are like this book so you could find more books on the topic. You'll notice that it includes bibliographical references which is another important key to knowing that it's a scholarly book.

As I scroll down to the bottom I can also look for books to the left and the right on the shelf. Here's our book right here: A History of Modern Education in Kenya. If I look to the books to the left and right I can click on those and potentially order or otherwise see those as eBooks as well and you know I may find more books on my topic. It's also worth mentioning, during the COVID period that if you want you can have this book sent to you and the way you do that is in this request options area. If you sign in using your network id and password you can go ahead and order the book and have the book sent to you again if indeed it says here that it is available, this green availability.

I also want to show you one other quick example. If I load more results beyond the first ten most of these books say they're available at Holland and Terrell. You're going to also run into some that are either checked out like this one is number 14, or you might run into some that say check holdings. Whether it says checked out or checked holdings it doesn't matter you can still order these books in the same way. So if I wanted this book for example I could click on this I would sign in and you'll see that there's this blank white space. Once I sign in with my network id and password there'll be a link here that says order this item through a system called Summit and you can order it and have the thing brought to you. All ordering of books is free. Typically it takes about a week to get to you during the COVID period, will be provided with a postal service return sticker so that you can send the thing back to the library. So there should be no cost to you.

LRA 2 Pt. 3: History Journal Articles

What I'm going to do now is shift to the next part and talk a little bit about finding history journal articles, and in order to do that I'm going to also just talk really briefly about the characteristics and then show you where we might go to find them. History journal articles just like books typically have one author so that's something that can help you. There are not a lot of other things though you need to pay attention to besides a publish date, and again typically you want things published more recently. So like published in the last 25 years and that may be a requirement for you but that also centrally cover deeper history. The reason why we don't have to think about a lot of other things related to history journal articles is because we are going to, and I will go back now to the LRA text itself, I'm going to go to a history database, a history journal article database that actually just has the materials in it so you don't, unlike Search It where you have to do some detective work on your own, you can do this just by going to the right database.

So what we're going to do is go to JSTOR. So here's the link to JSTOR within the LRA text. You can also, by the way go to JSTOR, if I go to the home page for the libraries, JSTOR is a database so I can click on databases from the home page to the libraries and I can either go to the J's as you can see here in the alphabetic list. I can search for JSTOR by typing it into this search bar and it so happens with JSTOR it's one of our most popular databases. So there's just a link to it right on this home interface page. However you get there you want to get to JSTOR and our subscription interface looks like this.

I'm going to go in here and use the same Kenya and the history of Kenyan education system as I used before. I'm going to also as I did before limit to the title to start hoping again that if these words appear in the title of the journal article it's going to be most relevant. Going down the interface page, another thing that you can do is this defaults to what's called content I can access or I can change that to all content. We suggest that you change it to all content because then you can see everything that JSTOR provides and you can order articles for again, for free that you can typically have sent to you electronically within about a day. WSU is not able to subscribe to everything JSTOR offers so that's why I'm changing it to all content, makes sense. Now I also have to say though that during the COVID period we actually are getting access to all of the content of JSTOR so everything will be in full text at that time. Once that period ends though you'll definitely want to change this to all content because then you can get the full text in places where otherwise we don't get it from JSTOR.

Moving on the page, I want to limit to articles because I want actual journal articles. There are other pieces and parts of any one issue of a journal there's things called book reviews there's various kinds of reports there's letters to the editor, things like that you don't want. You want fully researched journal articles. You may also want to limit your language to English. Many world languages are represented in this system. You also most likely are going to want to limit to the last 25 years. That is the requirement in the template LRAs. It's probably the requirement for your particular class as well. The reason for that is again getting the most current information about your topic but also because in JSTOR, which by the way the JSTOR itself that title is short for Journal Storage so there's a lot of historical journals in there pre-1995 and you don't want to look at those.

Scrolling down the last thing that you're going to want to pay attention to is this journal filter area and you can see here that you can filter by all sorts of different disciplinary or subject areas. There are four of them related to history there's architecture history here you can see, there's art history. There is a general history one right here which I'm going to click on. All RCI students would want to limit to this and then there's history of science and technology as well which may or may not apply to your topic. So at a minimum click on the history limiter because you don't want to get articles... I don't want articles that are talking about the Kenyan education system from the last five years or something like that, so I want things that are from history journals now because I'm looking at Kenya. I may also decide, and I'm looking at education by the way, I may also decide that I want to limit to education journals as well or I may even want to limit to African studies journals as well. If you do that though you just need to be careful again that each article you're looking at actually covers that deeper history with that setup.

I'll go ahead and click the submit advanced search button and I'll get my results and in this case there are 91 things, and you'll see that all of them on the right side have this download PDF. Under normal circumstances a lot of these would not say download PDF, at which point you would click on the title and you would get what's called a find it at WSU button to order it, but right now every single one of these has a download PDF so you can just download the item to your machine. So that is the bit about finding history journal articles. Now to close this video, I am going to go back to the LRA text and just tell you that typically the last question you revise the research questions that you proposed in LRA number one. So that concludes this this video. I am just, as a one last ending piece, going to again show you that in the LRA LibGuide you can email me, schedule appointments, or otherwise contact me through the phone. Good luck on your research and go Cougs.

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. 

From the WSU Libraries home page, click on the advanced search link. We can use multiple search bars to construct a more precise search rather than just putting our keywords in a single search 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 of the Search It record. If I was just searching for keywords, I might also want to include the word history. Instead let's customize the search. 

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 also want the word government to be mentioned, but it can be anywhere in the resource. I can add another line by clicking ‘Add a new line’. 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, stereotypes, or subhuman. I can connect all these words with capital OR. This tells Search It that any combination of these words is acceptable when we also have propaganda in the title and government anywhere. 

To the right of the search boxes, we can filter by material type, language, or date. For secondary sources, more recent sources are better. I'll limit my language to English and by date as needed. Once I hit search, I can narrow my results by type and select both eBooks and print books. 

I spent a lot of time refining my search terms so we have a manageable set of results. There are more filters available on this sidebar but I don't really need them at the moment. 

Here is a book that looks interesting. It is an electronic book. Under access options there's a link to the company that carries the e-book. If I’m off-campus, I’ll have to sign in to open it. From here I can read the full text online.

Since I have a great book about imperial Japanese propaganda, I think I will pair that with government propaganda from the other central country of the Axis Powers in World War II, Germany.

I like this 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 listed, not an editor so I can tell it’s a monograph. But what 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 their sources. It's also published in 2013 but lists a topic date range of 1918 to 1933 and is about Germany. Perfect for my paper.

The call number tells me where I can find this book in the library and I can click on Map It to see exactly where it’s located. Unfortunately though, I see that this book is currently checked out. Even though the WSU copy of the book is unavailable, I can order a copy through Summit (the collection of materials from over 35 academic library systems across the Pacific Northwest). To order this book, sign in using your Network ID and password, select your desired delivery location, and click Request. It will take about one week for the source to arrive at your desired library or home location. This service is free to you as a student. 

My search for a third relevant book about propaganda in imperial Japan or Nazi Germany takes me several pages ahead in my results list, a special kind of history book, a primary source reader. This work includes a wide range of historical news articles and government documents which explain how German propaganda among a host of other factors, led to American ignorance and apathy toward the plight of European Jews. 

This book says “Check Request Options” meaning it is a non-WSU library source within the Summit system. It can be requested in the same way as our other book.

This short tutorial has shown you how to find books on your topic through advanced search in Search It. Good luck with your research and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Transcript: How to Use JSTOR

This short tutorial will show you how to perform an advanced search in JSTOR using filters and basic search strategies. 

We’ll start from the JSTOR advanced search page. I want to find articles on the history of slave trading that involves Brazil. 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. This will give me any combination of letters that begins with that root. I'll do the same thing with trade, adding the asterisk right after the ‘d’.. I want to focus on Brazil, so I’ll add that term in the second search box. I will narrow both search boxes by searching the “Item Title” only.

If I feel like my search is too narrow I can expand it by using more asterisks and linking search terms with OR. If I’m getting too many results, I can use more AND and NOT modifiers. If I feel like my results don’t seem very relevant to my topic, I can switch from searching for my keywords in ‘All fields’ to searching for my keywords in the title. Get comfortable with changing your search terms and strategy throughout your research process to find the best sources for your assignments.

Underneath my keywords, I can change the access type. I can select between ‘Content I can access’ to find full-text sources, or I can choose ‘All content’ to see results that don’t have full text that I could request through Interlibrary Loan. Your choice between these options may depend on how much time you have before your assignment is due since it can take up to 48 hours to get an article through Interlibrary Loan. Choosing ‘All content’ is recommended if you have the time, so that’s what we’ll do for this example.

I can also refine by item type, language, or date. I'll limit to English.

Further down there are more ways to control your search options, like journal filters. Here I can limit to just history journals.

Let's search and see what we find. Let’s check out this first result. I can read this source 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. 

If the full text of a source isn’t available, the ‘Download’ button will not be available to select from the results page. Clicking on the title will take us to the item record where we can click on the ‘Find It @ WSU’ link. This will take us to a Search It record where we can either access it from another database or request the item through Interlibrary Loan. To see the request option in Search It, you’ll want to make sure you’re logged in.

This short tutorial has shown you how to perform an advanced search in JSTOR using basic search strategies. Good luck with your research! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

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 Search It. 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.

LRA 3 Pt. 1: Introduction

Hello, my name is Corey Johnson. I am the library liaison to the Roots of Contemporary Issues program. Welcome to LRA number three video. I want to start by saying just a few words about myself and ways to contact me. My central role as liaison is to help students with the semester-long research project that is part of every RCI experience and so please feel free to get a hold of me for help. In order to facilitate that, if you look at these the screen in front of you, this is the home page for the libraries which as I go to the upper left – the address bar - you can see is a fairly simple URL: You could also just google WSU libraries and it is most often the first link there as well.

So anyway if you get to this page then if you click on this in the center left subject guides icon, this will take you to a library guides page that includes information on a variety of different resources and services in the libraries including a specific library guide for RCI. So you can find the RCI guide by either going to the search bar, and you can see here I can either pick RCI out of here, or Roots of Contemporary Issues since I've searched them before. The other thing you can do quickly is just go to the top address bar and off the end of the domain part of the address just add the letters RCI on the end and that will take you to the Roots of Contemporary Issues LibGuide. Also note that the library guide assignments themselves, which are sometimes given to you in your blackboard space as word documents or sometimes in embedded into your blackboard space, oftentimes have links to this library guide as well.

So at the top you'll see that there are specific instructions related to the COVID-19 period and so please make sure you're up to speed on that. One of the main things just to highlight quickly about that is you need to know that that during that time you can have print materials sent to you. Whatever home location you have, whether that's in Pullman or Seattle or anywhere that you might be living in the United States, we can freely send you print materials and a prepaid United States Postal Service label as well for you to send those materials back and you can find out more about that by clicking on the links there.

In terms of me, in contacting me for help, in the lower left box you'll see here obviously a picture of me, telephone number, a link to launch email message to me. Also this schedule an appointment can be helpful as well. This system interfaces with my calendar so you can schedule half hour consultation sessions with me, and we can do that for example via zoom and oh I can see what searching you're doing and send you searches and so that tends to be a quite effective way to help with research.

Also in terms of introduction, I just want to say that I've been working with the RCI program since it started in the fall of 2012 and there have been tens of thousands of students who have done the research project and I've worked with many of those students over the time so, helped create these assignments and basically know the assignments inside and out. A couple of other important notes by way of introduction. One is that the research project is part of both history 105 and 305 and the project is essentially the same for both groups of people. So this LibGuide and this particular video is helpful to both history 105 and 305 students.

I also want to note that the instructors of RCI use what are called LRA templates in order to create their assignments, but they oftentimes make minor alterations. So your instructors and your sections specific assignment prompts for the LRAs could be a little bit different. In fact, your instructor may not even call them LRAs, but whatever the preliminary assignments are on your way towards writing that final paper just know that in this video I'm going to talk about more general kinds of things but you definitely want to be sure that you're checking the your instructor's specific assignment prompts for details.

One last introductory thing is that of course we're looking today at LRA number three and so up until this point in LRAs number one and two, likely what you've done is gathered some sources. Mostly, what we would consider to be secondary sources: contemporary newspaper articles, history monographs, history journal articles, and also at this point through the LRA process you probably have been asked to work on Chicago citation style and hopefully you're getting good at that. Also, to express what your topic is and then hopefully you've been refining your topic along the way as well.

LRA 3 Pt. 2: What Are Primary Sources?

So let's go ahead and jump into LRA3 and I'm going to switch the screen here for a moment to show you some pertinent information about that. Typically in LRA 3 you are asked to get a primary source or a number of primary sources for your paper which begs the question "what is a primary source?" If you're going to find one of these you need to know what one is.

Typically in in-person classes when I ask a group of students "what is a primary source?" the students will say that it's a first-hand account put together by someone, written by someone who actually witnessed an event, or had some direct experiences with a particular event or topic and that is a really good definition. In fact, in many ways that's sort of the quintessential primary source especially in the humanities disciplines, the discipline of history being part of that. Probably the best kind of primary source you can get is someone who has put something to... written something that reflects on experiences they've had with your topic and by the way, I say written. Another thing you should know about primary sources is they don't have to be written documents. Although those tend to be the most helpful, they could be other things. They could be paintings; they could be maps; they could be physical objects; anything that was produced at that time.

Sometimes when students are asked the question was the primary source they also say well it's like a diary, which is also a pretty good example and that gets at sort of this personalized first-hand account sort of definition, which again is a good one but it's also important to note that you do not necessarily have to have a first-hand account for something to be a primary source. For example historical newspaper articles can be primary sources. If a reporter wrote a story about a battle during a historical war but was not actually experiencing the battle on the battlefield itself, that would still be classified as as a primary source. So don't box yourself into a very narrow definition of a primary source.

In sum, the basic thing you need to understand is what makes something a primary source in the humanities is time. Time is the most important word and the reason why, as we shift here in a minute to finding primary sources, that idea of time really is important is it implies then that there is no real primary source database per se. For books and articles there were specific databases we recommended you go to, not necessarily for primary sources. Primary sources you can find anywhere and everywhere and what is a primary source for one particular student's research is not necessarily for another because time is critical. So the time period is what is going to make sense. Now for some topics that might be fairly obvious. If you're researching World War One, the primary time period is during World War One. Things created during World War One would be primary sources. Although, one of the interesting things to remember about finding things, using the World War One example, is that World War One was not called World War One during that time. So you have to be careful when you're doing searching and we'll talk about that in a minute.

For other topics, your primary time period is not as obvious. If you're, for example, researching the history of climate change it sort of begs the question well when did climate change happen. Well this is a slow and evolving process over many centuries and so what you'll need to do as a researcher is pick a time period that's most important to you. Maybe whatever time period or set of decades described when the first solid scientific discoveries about climate change were happening or something like that but again time is very important.

And then I also want to talk about a couple of other keys to success concerning primary sources before we launch into finding them in the databases. The first thing is to know your vocabulary and so in order to talk about that I want to tell a brief story and ask a question about it and give you an opportunity to think a little bit about it. So when I was working with a student in a previous semester, an RCI student whose paper topic was human trafficking he went in to find a primary source in a historical newspaper database - went into the database properly limited to a time period that made sense for his topic and I think it was the pre between 1900 and 1950 and typed in his topic human trafficking spelled the words correctly and clicked search and got nothing back. And so my question is what happened? How come this student got nothing back? Well the reason is that the terminology, or that term human trafficking was not used in the deeper historical past.

So that's why it's key to know your vocabulary so you may wonder then, well okay if I have a topic and it may contain terminology that's more contemporary what am I going to search for? How is that going to work? Well one of the things that's important to do is to tie your topic to specific historical examples. The names of people or groups of people, the names of events, the names of laws or legislation, can be very important things for you and the place that you can find a lot of that information are in the books and articles that you have already obtained as part of this RCI research project. And by the way, another thing I'll say is that in the bibliographies of the secondary sources you already have, the history journal articles, the scholarly history monographs, there probably are primary sources in those bibliographies so you don't even have to go to a database to look for those.

LRA 3 Pt. 3: Finding Primary Sources

Okay so with all that said, let's go ahead and transition into finding primary sources. And essentially in the universe of primary sources there are two different kinds. One's called documentary or things that are somehow documented or published. These could be a variety of different things and if I go over to draw your attention to the screen and to LRA number three, finding primary sources, you'll see from the left hand nav bar if I scroll down and there's a number of specific video tutorials here at the top that you could use to help you. There is a box here that says documentary primary sources and what you have here is a list of about 10 or so different databases that we recommend for finding these. What these are is historical newspapers, magazines, and government documents databases primarily. So these are the kinds of things that you might find here and if you read the definitions or the descriptions of each of these databases some might be better for your topic or some potentially worse.

One of the things that I'm going to do and I'm just going to show you this now, as an example, is the Times of London which we have back for about 200 years 1785 to 1985. So historical newspapers are a good place to start newspapers cover every topic under the sun. So they can be a good place to find primary sources. I'm going to type in a topic, and this is a real student topic, RCI topic from a previous semester a student who is looking at the historical development of women's rights in the country of India. And so here we have India with an asterisk at the end. The asterisk meaning we can get multiple endings so I can get India or Indian for example and woman with the second vowel replaced by a question mark, meaning I can get woman one or singular or women with an plural. So I'm going to search for those two things.

I'm going to go over to this basic search area and I can either search and type the entire document, every word of every article in this system or I can narrow by looking at the document title and I typically start by doing that although if it's too restrictive you need to back off on that but I'm hoping there's just some actual articles within the newspaper that talk about some sort of aspect of women in historical India. Now as I move down the page one of the things that's going to be important when you're looking for primary sources in any database is thinking about the publication date or the date the thing was created right because again time is the critical element. So in my example I'll just say maybe I'm going to look between let's say the latter part of the 1800s so I'm going to look between 1850 and 1899 and again for your topic you will think hopefully more carefully about what that time period is but I'm going to look between you know roughly those 50 years.

Also as the last thing for the search interface setup that you'll want to consider is you may want, because newspaper articles have a lot of different kinds of information in them: weather reports, sports scores, death and marriage notices, all sorts of different kinds of things that might not be helpful for your research. One of the things that I typically do is limit to articles. Now that may not be best for every topic but for most topics you want the full newsy articles as part of what you're looking for.

With that setup I'll click search. Everything in this database is in full text so you'll get to see the full article, you can download the full text of the article. So you'll see here there's women doctors in India, medical women for India, medical women, a number of other different things here about medicine. Obviously this is a theme, at least here on the first page. If you want any of these you can go ahead and click on the title and what that will do then is it'll show you the full article, the full text the article. It does keyword in context. You can see here in green, it'll highlight the spots where your keywords appear in the context of the article.

If you decide ultimately you want this there's a couple things here at the top that can be helpful. Obviously, you can download it by clicking on this down arrow to your own computer. If you wanted to email the thing to yourself you could and you can also use a citation feature here to get a Chicago citation, but again as I've mentioned in other videos if you get a citation from a database be sure that you go back and check within the LibGuide as well to make sure that it's a the correct Chicago style.

So I'm gonna go ahead and go back, and by the way just to show you that really quickly, here's the Chicago - we're back now in the library guide - here's the Chicago style link that'll show you what a newspaper article citation should look like. So that's an example of a documentary primary source database. Non-documentary primary sources and here's a list of the potential database for those and I'm going to open up this too which also includes these two very powerful and large databases: Google Books and the HathiTrust. Google Books is a great place to look for primary sources, as is by the way a general google search. This can get you both documentary and non-documentary primary sources and by a Google search we don't simply mean just go to Google and type in a few keywords that describe your topic. What you're going to want to do is go in there and also type in words like primary source, primary collection, or primary documents, or something like that and there may be a collection of documents that have been digitized and put online that are related to your topic.

The example that I'm going to show you is to go to Search It. So I'm just going to go ahead and click on that link and so here we are in Search It and I'm going to go to advanced search and again I'm going to use a real student topic from the past. The student was looking at the history of state-sponsored assassination. So I'm just going to put assassin in there with the asterisk so that I can get assassin, assassins, assassinate, assassination, etc., but then the important thing about teasing out of the database primary sources is I'm going to put in words that describe those non-documentary primary sources. Things like diaries, letters, interviews, speeches, narratives is another word that's oftentimes used. Memoir is another word. So you could put all of these words in with ORs in them. In other words, you're telling the system "hey I want interviews about assassins, or of assassins, or letters, or diaries by assassins, etc. and then I'm going to go and I'm going to actually limit these to the title to begin with in the hopes that I can find things that are the most relevant kinds of materials. I may also want to limit by publication here right because as I've said what's important here is that you're finding things that are published at the historical time period that you consider to be primary.

If I click search you'll see here I have the assassins diary and speeches about assassins and etc., etc. Okay so that's the main way that works. I also want to mention one other thing as well. If I erase the second line there are groups of books that are called readers or source readers where a researcher typically, may be a historian, takes a group of primary sources and puts them all together in one book. So if you look for example for like assassin and then type in the word source or reader and go from there you may find that your topic there may actually be a whole book of primary sources, something again potentially published in the recent past but the contains documents from a deeper historical time period.

Okay so that's what I wanted to tell you in this video. So again just to summarize in LRA number three, what you're going to be doing is finding primary sources. It's important that you know what they are, so we went over what they are and we also went over some basic places to find them. So good luck in your research. Right now again I'm showing information about me. Please feel free to contact me telephone, email, or scheduling a zoom appointment if you need further help with your particular topic and otherwise good luck in your research and go Cougs.

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 Search It to find primary sources. From the Library homepage click on the Search It advanced search link. 

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 outdated 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. The quotation marks around my keywords ensure that my results will include that exact phrase.

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 filter to find only primary sources but this method often gets useful results. The OR connecting them means that I'll accept any of these terms and the asterisk means that I'll accept any words with those roots. So speech, speeches, or speechmaking are all a part of this search term. 

I also want to make sure that my results aren’t focused on the United States so I’ll add another line and use NOT to exclude the phrase “United States” from my results.

Finally, I want to consider the historical timeframe that I want to focus on for my topic, so I'll limit my results to before 1980. Make sure you check your assignment in case you need specific date parameters. Because filtering for this date will provide historical documents in my results that could be used as primary sources, I can also try a search without searching for the types of primary sources. Get comfortable with changing your search terms and strategy throughout your research process to find the best sources for your assignments. 

These sources look promising. 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 if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Using Chicago Style Footnoting in Microsoft Word

Hello, this is Corey Johnson - your RCI librarian, and I am going to be doing a short video today about using footnoting in Microsoft Word. I realize that many of you will use other word processing software, but obviously Microsoft Word is very common. The Word version that you're seeing here is Word 2016 and even though you may be using a slightly different version it's... over the most recent versions, it's very common to have the same kind of basic setup.

So if I go here and I'm typing along in my paper and I get to the end of a sentence where I'm either paraphrasing or quoting something like that I'm going to put in my first footnote. So the way that you do that in this system is first of all, you might think as you look here along the options, the heading options at the top, that you might think you would want to insert something so if you go to the insert tab and look across the options, one of the pitfall areas that students sometimes click on is cross-reference, which is something you don't want to use. And then an even more common error is to think about adding a footer which you see here and you don't want to do that. Footers are not the same thing as footnotes, even though obviously the wording is very similar. But avoid doing footers. So you don't want to be in this insert tab and as you go down the line of potential things, the one that hopefully will stick out to you is references, since obviously you're making reference to a particular citation. Now even within here sometimes there are issues that can trip you up. You'll notice right here in this area that's called citations and bibliography, named appropriately, that it defaults to APA which obviously you could change to Chicago. However, you'll see here it changes it actually to Chicago 16th, and we are now, as of the summer of 2017, in the 17th edition of Chicago so this would not be correct. In addition to that, if you wanted to use this, if you insert a citation here, what you're gonna get is what's called the author/date system within Chicago, which we're not using in RCI. We're instead using something called the notes/bibliography system within Chicago, so you want to avoid using this area as well. It'll just create pitfalls for you.

What you're going to want to do (after saying all those places where you wouldn't want to go), is to click here on 'Insert Footnote' which obviously also makes sense. So if I click on that, you'll see that what it did is it took us to the bottom of the page, where I can go ahead and add and I'll just type in some just keystrokes here to show this is where I'm going to put in my footnote for the first reference and then if I scroll back up you can see that it's at a superscripted number one right here. So then I can obviously you know continue with my paper at this point and blah blah blah and move on, and then the next time I insert, go to Insert Footnote, it's going to make a number two and so on and so forth. The system is obviously quite convenient as you might guess that because as you edit and add text and subtract text out of your paper, it automatically makes sure that the footnotes for any one page actually appear at the bottom of the appropriate pages. So that's an important thing for you to remember about how this works.

So good luck with your research and with your writing with doing footnoting and feel free to contact me, Corey Johnson - your RCI librarian at if you need further help.

Using Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) in Chicago Style

Hello, this is Corey Johnson - your RCI librarian - with a short lesson about DOIs (digital object identifiers). You can see the screen I am on here is the library guide (or LibGuide) for RCI. I'll highlight up here the URL for that: Then if I go to the left-hand navigation bar and scroll down to Chicago style guide, I have bibliographic and footnote information for a variety of different kinds of information types: books, articles, newspapers, etc.

DOIs come into play in this area right here for articles that are in an electronic journal and so you're supposed to put a DOI, and here it is actually within the citation, at the end of your bibliographic citation - and your full footnote by the way as well - for online journal articles.

The question becomes 'where do I find a DOI for my article?' or 'does my article even have a DOI?' Oftentimes databases don't provide the DOI directly in the database where you might find it, so you may have to go and look. This suggests that you look at a place called, which on the surface of it would make great sense. I actually recommend that you go to a site, and I'll show you here, called CrossRef. It's at, which you can use to either get a DOI from the text of an article, the citation information of an article you have, or if you have the text which is the most common - like the title of the article - you can figure out if it has a DOI. One thing that it does is it defaults to this search site, and you don't want to search the site. You actually search metadata and then you can see here that you can search for authors, titles, you can actually search for a DOI number in here as well. Most often probably what you're going to have, and I'm going to put this in quotes by the way, is the title of an article that you're interested in. So I have one on my clipboard that I'm going to cut and paste in here, again putting quotes around it, and click enter to search. And what you'll see in the results is here's my article and I can check that it's the right author and it's the right volume and issue, the journal itself, etc. And then here's the DOI - the complete DOI - and you'll want to go ahead and put in the link that includes the actual location of the server - the DOI server - plus this other combination of letters and of numbers and letters that makes up a DOI. But you want to put this at the end of your citations.

So that's a little bit about DOIs, Thanks for listening and if you need more help, don't hesitate to contact me. At the LibGuide, you can see here - here's contact information for me. You can schedule an appointment with me online, send me an email, or otherwise call me on the phone as well. So good luck with your research and be sure to put those DOIs in where appropriate.

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