Welcome to Video Two. In this short video, I will demonstrate ‘how to search’ for sources using some of the main search tools that are listed on the Course Guide for HIST 3301A.
Begin with Start your research where you will find advice on what you need to do first, such as selecting a topic and using various sources to help develop your background knowledge of that topic such as using Wikipedia.
You will also find convenient links to various Canadian encyclopedias, books and atlases.
Under Finding Books and Journal Articles, I recommend 2 options.
Option 1 is to find books or articles on a topic in Omni by entering keywords or phrases that best describe what you are looking for.
Here is an example: “French Canada” AND culture
Notice I am using quotation marks around “French Canada” so that these words are searched together.
The search terms are connected with AND (in caps). The Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT, helps to build a good search string on any topic. Refer to the Searching Techniques section on the course guide for more help.
My Results list will include many books, some available online, some only available via Hathi Trust, and some in print, with a Call number.
If you want to Refine your results, use the filters on the left for options such as Availability, Resource Type, Publication Date, Subject and Language.
In this example, I am selecting Peer reviewed Journals, Articles, Years 1990-2021, Subject: Social sciences, Language: English Then Apply the filters. By doing this you will be refining and narrowing your results.
To read a journal article, click on ‘Available Online’ A window will open up and under the main reference will be all of the ‘online availability’ options for that article.
To expand this search, you might want to select synonyms for the word ‘culture’. To do this, use brackets around the synonyms and join them with OR. I have selected:
(culture OR society OR communities)
Then re-apply the filters.
As you browse through your results, you can use the Push pin icon to add articles to your Favourites. You can then open your Favourites and select individual items or all items to send them to your email, to export them or to download them in RIS format or to print them.
Ok, let’s click on New Search at the top of the screen to start over.
This time we’ll do an Advanced Search in Omni to perform some Subject searches. Subject searching is a valuable alternative because it is more precise since the subject headings are a controlled vocabulary.
So, I am changing the field to Subject and I’m typing in Quebec Province History and clicking on search. When the Results appear, remember to Refine your results to what it is you would like to read.
If you open the course guide you can view other subject headings that I have listed. I have prepared a list of Subject heading strings that you might find useful.
And here’s a tip: To find more subject headings, you can start with a keyword search on your topic and browse the results and choose a relevant item and look for the Subject headings in the records. Then, open up an Advanced Search on Omni, change the field to Subject, and do some Subject searching.
So to look at the Subjects for this book, for example, just open it up and browse down the record to see what the what the subject fields are.
So let’s look at Option 2
Option 2 is to use a subject-specific database and the one I am using is American History and Life. This database covers all articles from all areas of Canadian and American History. And I already have a window open and you can enter several keywords or phrases to retrieve a focused set of citations.
So the words I’ve chosen are Quebec, and in another search bar, type in: “ethnic minorities” And I’m using quotations marks to keep these words together as I did with the previous search. Click on Search.
Now, to view the full text article, you can click on the Get It! Button or sometimes there will be a full text PDF link.
As with Omni, you can take a look at the results. Note the subject terms and read the abstracts. Try to make note of any new terminology that you might apply to additional searches. Here are the Subject terms for this particular article.
You can return to your search results and Refine the results. You can limit by Language if that is required. You can also mark items as were doing with the Push Pin icon. This is a File folder icon and then go to your Folder and mark or download items and send them to your email.
You can also begin a new search and search by Subject. And if you’ve figured out what subject terms that you want to use (in this case I will use Autonomy & independence movements. And again remember to refine your results with the tools on the left-hand side.
So let’s return to the subject guide and have a look at the controlled vocabulary that I have set out for you which is listed here. This is the link to America, History and Life that we were just looking at. I’ve added another one called JSTOR which is a digital library of journal articles, books and Primary sources on all topics that you may want to explore on your own.
I earlier mentioned the Searching Techniques. Here is a web page with all the different searching techniques and Boolean operators explained.
Then I have made a list of Useful Books on Quebec. You can review them and see if any of them might be of interest to you.
I have also prepared a list of major Canadian News databases for you to search if you want to use newspaper sources and have included the ‘searching News databases’ how-to guide in case you haven’t searched for newspaper articles in the past.
Finally under Writing and Citing, you will find books to write better papers. There’s a link to Writing Services at Carleton if you want to make a virtual appointment with them. And I’ve got a list of sources for Citing your sources. Chicago Style is the style used for most History classes and there’s also a link to K.L .Turabian’s A Manual for writers of research papers, theses and dissertation which you can have scanned, part of that book if you wish, there’s a short video to Chicago style footnotes and of course a link to the OWL Purdue Online Writing lab.
This is the end of the second video.
If you have any questions about doing research, please contact me via email or you can Schedule a Research Consultation with me via Zoom.
Thanks for listening and good luck.