Most databases offer help screens with information about structuring your search and other tips. Often the links to help are in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Familiarizing yourself with the database's protocols is a good way to produce successful searches.
Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLAIB) (UCB only) The MLAIB is the largest index of critical scholarship on literature, language, linguistics, and folklore, containing over 2 million citations. The online version starts with the 1926 annual bibliography, but coverage of JSTOR titles goes back to the first issue published.
- until 1956, most of the items included in the bibliography were written by scholars in the U. S.
- subject indexing expanded dramatically in 1981; entries before that time usually have only the subject author’s name, national literature and century as descriptors.
- does not include book reviews and did not index most monographs, especially collections of essays, until recently. Users must consult catalogs to ensure finding monographs or collections of essays.
- use the layout of the advanced search box to create a Boolean search: (1) put synonyms in the rows (across)—the search results will have to have at least one of those words (2) words in different rows will be ANDed together and the search results will have to include words from all the rows.
- use truncation symbols: * for variant endings and ? for internal truncation—for example, dickens* will yield Dickens, Dickensian, Dickens’s, etc. The search wom?n will bring results with woman and women. When you get no results from a search, try truncating the term(s).
- author searches bring the work of scholars, not of literary authors. Use key word or descriptor searches to get scholarly items about an author
- UC e-Links will lead you to full-text of articles or to the Melvyl catalog, where you can see if Berkeley or another UC library has the item. If Berkeley does not own, use the orange request button to bring up an online interlibrary loan form.
Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL) (UCB only) Published by the Modern Humanities Research Association, ABELL indexes materials about works originally written in English. Should be searched in conjunction with the MLAIB since the two indexes have only about 60-70% overlap in coverage. ABELL began in 1921 and does include book reviews of scholarly books.
Academic Search Complete (UCB only) A multidisciplinary index to articles in thousands of journals with full-text for many.
- sometimes indexes newer articles before the MLAIB
- indexes book reviews of scholarly books and of fiction, poetry, drama, movies
- can search several indexes at once by clicking on “Choose databases” above the search box(es)
- good place to start doing research for topics that go beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries
America: History and Life Index to scholarship about U.S. and Canadian history.
Historical Abstracts Index to historical scholarship about the rest of the world.
Black Studies Center (BSC) Includes The Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience, The International Index to Black Periodicals (IIBP), and the full text backfile of The Chicago Defender (1910-1975).