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SSI2-132: Wild Things: Secondary Sources

Where do I search?

Selecting the best or most appropriate finding aid for identifying sources depends almost entirely on the context of your research assignment. There is no single database or web search interface that will work for every research context; instead, you'll need to match your specific research needs to a variety of options.

Library catalog searches (i.e., Primo) can be the better choice when you are seeking in-depth, book-length treatments of a topic.

Multidisciplinary databases (i.e., JSTOR) cover a wide variety of subject areas and may include a mix of popular and scholarly sources. They can be the most appropriate choice when you just want to get a sense of what's available on a topic and when it isn't so important that you pay attention to disciplinary lenses.

Subject databases (i.e., MLA International Bibliography) cover a specific discipline and provide the widest range of access to scholarly sources. They are used for in-depth research. Which subject databases you search will be determined by who may be writing about your topic. Recommended subject databases for each discipline can be found on the "articles" tab in each library subject guide.

Search Primo

Search Collins+Summit+Articles

Using Library of Congress Subject Headings

Books in Primo are assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings.  In many ways, subject headings are a form of tagging, in that they represent the content of the material and provide ways for you to efficiently locate more materials that are conceptually related. 

Here are several examples of the various ways you can use LCSH to help pinpoint what you need:

Ecocriticism

Ecology in literature

Environmentalism in literature

Human ecology

Human ecology -- Philosophy

Human ecology -- United States -- History

Nature -- Effect of human beings on -- United States -- History

Nature conservation -- United States

Featured Books

 A sampling of potentially relevant books is listed below. Some titles available in print and in online format. 

Keep in mind - it is not usually necessary to read a book from cover to cover to engage with the author's argument. Instead, you may focus on a particular chapter or use the index to find parts most relevant to your needs.

Reading a Call Number

Collins Library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme to organize books on the shelves. Follow these tips to find the book you need.

Example:

Screen capture of book in Primo

  • Start with the top line. It is in alphabetical order. Ex. E
  • The second line is a whole number.  Ex. 169.1
  • The third line is  a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, eg. Y.23, Y.34, Y.344, Y.4, etc. Ex. .N37 (*Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.)
  • The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order. Ex. 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015, etc. Ex. 2001

Use the library location chart and map to find where the book is located.

Featured Journals

journal cover

If you're not sure yet what you're interested in, or you're interested in so many different aspects of the environment that you can't decide where to focus, you might want to browse through scholarly journals to see what catches your eye. Collins Library provides access to several relevant scholarly journals, including those listed below.

Recommended Subject Databases

These subject databases may be especially useful for your research projects for this class. Depending on your topic and your angle, you may wish to search additional subject databases.