Skip to Main Content

RSS 234: Chinese Religious Traditions

Strategies for Finding Books

1.  Start with specific books suggested in subject encyclopedia entries.  Look for these specific titles in Primo.  (Remember to sign in to Primo with your Puget Sound username and password to ensure you are accessing all of the materials and services available to you!)

Tip #1: If the book is available in ebook format, email or copy and save the Primo permalink so that you can get back to it.  If it is a print book available in Collins Library, you can either request a local hold (in which case we'll pull the book for you and hold it for you) or note the call number and go up to the stacks to retrieve it yourself.  If the book is not in Collins, request it from a SUMMIT library, and it will arrive in 3-5 business days.

Tip #2: Sometimes when you search for book titles, reviews of that book will pop up in your results.  Scholarly reviews can be very helpful for evaluating the usefulness of a book for your project.

2.  Click on the full record for the book when you find it in Primo. Click on the Library of Congress Subject Headings for that book to identify additional books on the topic.

Tip #3: Use the facets on the right side of the Primo results page to sort and/or narrow your results.  For example, if you are getting a lot of results in a language you can't yet read, you can limit by language.  Or if you want to make sure you're seeing current scholarship on the topic, you could sort by most recent date.

3.  Make sure that the book is scholarly. 



Library of Congress Subject Headings

All books in the catalog are assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings, which is kind of like an official version of tagging.  You can find each book's subject headings on the catalog record.  The top three subject headings are in the upper right hand corner and the full listing is at the bottom of the record.

Here, for example, are the subject headings for David Palmer's monograph, Qigong Fever: Body, Science, and Utopia in China (Columbia University Press, 2007):

Click on any of these subject headings to find even more books on the topic.

Is it scholarly?

Here are some clues to look for in the catalog record when you are evaluating whether a book is scholarly or popular:

  • The publisher is either a university press or an academic publisher (such as Routledge, Wiley, Blackwell, etc.).
  • The description of the book includes "notes and references."

When you have the book in hand, and still aren't sure if it is scholarly, you might want to do a little more digging, perhaps with a couple of quick Google searches:

  • Who is the author?  What are the author's credentials or other sources of expertise?
  • Does the publisher have a website?  If so, what types of books does it publish and what is the process for submitting work for consideration?