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Social Ecology Undergraduate Honors Research - SE 190A - 2023-24

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The Literature Search

Your point of departure is likely to be the UCI Libraries Website

You will also determine that each Reseach Librarian in Social Ecology has prepared associated Subject Guides that will be useful for you to review and with which you should become familiar:

Finding Information

Finding Books - there are several methods:

  • UCLS - University of California Library Search - catalog for all holdings across all 10 UC campuses - use the left sidebar for all refinements by Resource Type, Format, date restrictions, etc; Can also use Advanced Search or restrict to UCI Catalog; will retrieve at item record level - title, author, editor of book; may include table of contents
  • WorldCat - can be accessed for InterLibrary Loan if needed items are not in UCLS is a part of this search engine which also contains an inventory of international member libraries' collections - UCI's holdings are noted. Set for UC libraries or Worldwide.  Includes many databases as well as books, eBooks. 
  • there are also many collections of eBooks issued by different publishers and aggregators - some are listed here

Finding Journal Articles -

  • Use the Subject Guides to direct you to appropriate resources and specialized databases
  • General Databases are great places to start - there are several recommended multidisciplinary databases that cover a range of subject areas and include a large percentage of online full text content - use the Find @ UC icon to determine access if a pdf or html link is not noted.  Restricting searches to scholarly articles meaning that they include peer reviewed content may be helpful.   Examples of these databases include:
  1. Academic Search Complete
  2. Web of Science - can be restricted to Science Citation Index or Social Science Citation Index
  3. JSTOR
  4. Google Scholar

Finding other scholarly content -

  • SSRN Library (Social Sciences Research Network - will retrieve preprints - have not gone through peer review yet)
  • Google Scholar

Finding Newspaper coverage -

Finding Government Information - the jurisdiction is critical here - we divide our resources up by Local for Orange County and its municipalities; California, US Federal (all branches of government and its agencies) and International for foreign countries, regions, and NGOs.  Increasingly the current and most recent information is available in online or digital formats.  Consult UCLS  and the Research/Subject  Guides for starters and additional direction.

Finding Primary Resources - there are many specific databases that contain primary resource content that may range from manuscripts, photographs, interviews, images, etc.  many secondary sources will cite primary resources that are available to you. Consult with a reference librarian for specific direction.

Finding Images - many image databases exist - some are general such as Google Images and others are specific to content areas both from open access sources & pubilc domain or from specialized content providers, where permissions and copyright may be an issue.  Again, consulting with a reference librarian will be worthwhile.  There is also a Subject Guide for Images and one for Visual Literacy.

Finding Data or Statistics - there are many sources that contain a range of data - depending on what you need and whether it is comparative, corresponds to local, national or international coverage and sources, it may be part of a collection or resource or totally independently packaged, again consulting with a reference librarian is recommended.  There is a Subject Guide for Social Sciences Data Sources that may be helpful.

Conducting Literature Reviews - there are different methods on how to conduct a literature review - some are influenced by subject or discipline, and some by the resources themselves and the publishing traditions already in place.  There are ways to qualify your search in order to obtain Review Articles in many databases. There is also a database that contains Annual Reviews - invited papers to summarize the research and knowledge that has been compiled on a certain topic.

  • Annual Reviews - there are many different thematic titles and each year has a different set of topical papers - recommend the Annual Review of Social Sciences, Annual Review of Psychology, etc
  • Databases to get you started - a list of the major databases in each discipline



Other Library Resources

Depending on the research strategies you will employ and the process by which you will capture data, record and manage it, and the final product you envision, you may consider the following resources: