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American Studies Resource Guide: Finding Articles
(and Reports, Book Chapters, etc.)
What are the Differences?
for American Studies
if you know it exists
How can you tell the difference between and scholarly and popular periodicals? The table shown below lists some differences between scholarly and popular sources.
|Geared to scholars, researchers, professionals||Geared to the general public|
|Long articles; in-depth coverage of research/study||Short articles summarizing research/issues|
|Articles include many bibliographical references||Few, if any, bibliographical references|
|Few ads; few photos unless related to research||Many ads and photos|
|Often issued quarterly||Usually issued weekly or monthly or daily (newspapers)|
|Often sponsored by academic/professional group|
For examples, see the Inflite tutorial.
University Library subscribes to hundreds of article indexing databases which are available to you on campus or from home once you have logged in with your user ID and password. These databases are important because they allow to search for articles by keyword, topic, title, author, etc. Remember, a library catalog such as IUCAT will allow you to search for journal titles, but will not allow you to search for specific articles within the journal.
To find out which databases are most likely to have the kinds of articles that will be helpful to you, check the "Database Descriptions", "Title List", or other "information" or "about" options available in a particular database. See the section below on Suggested Databases for American Studies specific databases.
Before you start entering any search terms, spend a few minutes trying to think of as many relevant terms and combinations of terms as you can. This will help you to avoid getting stuck in a rut with the first terms that come to mind.
If you need help in coming up with terms, you may want to try the databases' "Thesaurus" or "Subject Headings" features.
Check out the "Help" or "Search Tips" to learn some of the search features specific to that database. Most databases provide similar features, but the methods may vary.
Try the databases' Advanced Search feature, which usually gives you the ability to search multiple fields (author, title, keyword, subject, etc) with one search and may offer additional ways to expand or limit your search.
If your first search strategy does not work, try another approach. Remember, too, that you can ask for Reference Help.
Looking for a way to find out which electronic full-text journals IUPUI has access to? Then try here...
- American Studies Journals Online
Alphabetical listing of all electronic full-text journals to which IUPUI University Library has access. Use when you would like to search or browse a specific journal that is not necessarily in the field of American Studies or when you already have a specific citation and want to see if the article is available online.
or, if you want to see a listing of all of the Women's Studies journals IUPUI subscribes to, try here:
- School of Liberal Arts Library Journals Database (Available inside Cavanaugh Hall and University Library only)
"The Liberal Arts Journals database contains journal titles to which the University Library subscribes from the resources account for Liberal Arts." (from website) To see which American Studies journals IUPUI subscribes to, go to the Search by a specific Liberal Arts Department: menu and select American Studies, and then select Individual Report. This will yield a listing of all American Studies journals. The listing is updated at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Full-Text, Abstract, and Citation Databases (Journals, Magazines, Book Reviews, and some Newspapers)
- 49th Parallel
The essays in this special issue of 49th Parallel introduce new critical perspectives
on the changing composition of the field and provide a particular focus on transatlantic
perspectives as these are now inflected by post national concerns. The 49th Parallel
gives opinions and raises issues about American Studies from a European perspective.
- Abstracts of American Studies Dissertations
This information is based on details submitted to the American Studies Association
by American Studies graduate programs; it is published annually in the December
issue of American Quarterly, whence the materials presented here have been
excerpted. Please note that these pages contain only abstracts of dissertations and
not full text articles.
- Academic Search Premier (access via Academic Search Elite link or EBSCOhost Web link)
"Academic Search Elite offers full text for more than 2,000 serials, including more than 1,500 peer-reviewed titles. This multi-disciplinary database covers virtually every area of academic study. More than 100 journals have PDF images back to 1985. This database is updated on a daily basis via EBSCOhost." (from website)
- America: History and Life: Prehistory to the Present
Call Number: E171 .A43 REFERENCE (2nd Floor)
This resource includes abstracts to articles, books, and dissertations on U.S. and
Canadian history from prehistory to the present.
- American Jewish History through Project Muse
Call Number: E184 .J5 A5 STACKS (3rd Floor)
American Jewish History is the official publication of the American Jewish Historical
Society and focuses on every aspect of the American Jewish experience. Volumes that
are included range from 1996 to 2001.
- American Poetry Database: 1760-1900
The American Poetry Full-Text Database features the works of
more than 200 American poets, along with six landmark anthologies
of American poetry. The database gathers the works of the most
influential American poets, from the Colonial period to the early
- American Quarterly Back Issues Online, through J-STOR
- American Quarterly Current Issues Online, through Project Muse
Call Number: AP2 .A3985 STACKS (3rd Floor)
Since its founding in 1949, American Quarterly has established itself as the outstanding
guide to American Studies. It promotes a broad, humanistic understanding of American
culture and encourages cross-disciplinary work.
- American Studies International through Academic Search FullTEXT Elite, 1990-present
Call Number: E175.8 .A5835 STACKS (3rd Floor)
Articles and book notes are included on the range of topics that fall under the heading
American studies: history, literature and language, material culture, folklore, philosophy
and religion and government and politics.
- Arts and Humanities Citation Index (1987-)
Available through ISI's Web of Knowledge's Web of Science. This database features humanities citations from 1987 to the present. Features general, advanced, and cited reference searches.
- Canadian Review of American Studies through Academic Search FullTEXT Elite, 1990-present
Articles, review articles and short reviews of multi- and interdisciplinary analysis give an
understanding of the culture, both past and present, of the United States, and of the relations
between the cultures of the United States and Canada.
- Database of African American Poetry
The Database of African-American Poetry, 1760-1900, includes
the poems of such well-known figures as Paul Laurence Dunbar and
Phillis Wheatley and the verse of many lesser-known poets whose
works may only be found in anthologies or private libraries. Covering
a wide range of topics from slavery and abolition to love and death, this
collection provides a unique portrait of early America through the
reflections of African-American poets during the 18th and 19th centuries.
- EBSCOhost Web
This database covers several disciplines, such as medical, business, academic,
and professional subject areas. Full text for nearly 1,560 journals is included,
with many dating back to 1990. Abstracts and indexing exists for nearly 2,750
scholarly journals, with many dating back to 1984. There is also coverage of
over 1,800 peer-reviewed journals, as well as charts and graphs.
- Expanded Academic ASAP
Includes citations and lots of full-text. Very general database, but includes articles from American studies, and sociology journals.
- Historical Abstracts: 1450 to the Present
Call Number: D299 .H5 REFERENCE (2nd Floor)
Historical Abstracts is a complete reference guide to the history of the world
(excluding the United States and Canada). It contains annotated references to
information on over half a million topics.
- Humanities Full-Text (via Wilson Web)
Includes full text of social history. Good source for examining how various topics have been presented in literature throughout history.
- Humanities Index International (access via EBSCOhost Web link)
"Humanities International Index is a comprehensive database covering journals, books and other important reference sources in the humanities. Produced by Whitston Publishing (an imprint of EBSCO Publishing), Humanities International Index provides cover-to-cover indexing and abstracting for over 2,000 titles and contains more than 2 million records." (from website)
Ingenta is the global research gateway serving the online information needs of over
1.4 million visitors a month. It provides a free online search service of published
content from reliable research sources and is one of the UK's top 20 Web services.
It currently contains 12,261,368 articles and 26,682 publications on several subjects,
including Agriculture and Social Science.
Includes citations and lots of full-text. Very general database. Not all content is peer-reviewed, but you can limit your search to return only peer-reviewed items.
- Journal of American Studies through Cambridge Journals Online
Journal of American Studies publishes works by scholars from all over the world on American
history, politics, literature, institutions, economics, film, popular culture, geography, sociology and
related subjects. A 'Notes and Comments' section provides a forum for shorter pieces and responses from readers to points made in articles or reviews. Also included are review essays, book reviews
and, biennially, a list of theses on American topics in progress and completed at British universities.
All full-text and scholarly articles. Presents the back-files or the complete run of important journals up to a relatively recent embargo date. No controlled vocabulary or subject headings used. May limit keyword search to abstract, title, full-text. This database is complemented well by the ProjectMuse journals. Please view this tutorial for guidance in searching within J-STOR.
- Master File Premier (access via EBSCOhost Web link)
"Designed specifically for public libraries, this multidisciplinary database provides full text for more than 1,700 general reference publications with full text information dating as far back as 1975. Covering virtually every subject area of general interest, MasterFILE Premier also includes nearly 500 full text reference books, 84,774 biographies, 100,554 primary source documents, and an Image Collection of 202,164 photos, maps and flags. This database is updated daily via EBSCOhost." (from website)
- Periodicals Archive Online
"Periodicals Archive Online is the new name for PCI Full Text - an archive of hundreds of digitised journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences." (from website)
- Periodicals Index Online
"Periodicals Index Online is the new name for Periodicals Contents Index - a database of millions of article citations published in the arts, humanities and social sciences, across more than 300 years." (from website)
- Project MUSE
All full-text, all scholarly.
- Research Society for American Periodicals
The RSAP is an interdisciplinary organization of scholars interested in American magazines and
newspapers. American Periodicals is an annual publication devoted exclusively to scholarship
and criticism relating to American magazines and newspapers of all periods, including reviews of
books in the subject area.
- Sociological Abstracts
Call Number: HM1 .S67 REFERENCE (2nd Floor)
This database covers the life sciences, environmental and aquatic sciences,
computer sciences, materials science and engineering, aerospace, social
sciences, and humanities. The abstracts are from not only an award-winning
Internet Database Service, providing access to more than 70 databases, but
also widely read print journals.
- African American Newspapers: 19th Century (Windows Only)
This database permits searching all newspapers that are indexed
as well as choosing the following individual papers: the Freedom's
Journal, The Colored American, The North Star, The National
Era, the Provincial Freeman, the Frederick Douglass Paper,
and The Christian Recorder.
- Historical New York Times (ProQuest Newspapers)
Searchable online database which houses full-text digitized version of New York Times from 1860's-2004. Includes advertisements and images.
- Indiana Newsstand (ProQuest Newspapers)
"Full-text coverage of major Indiana newspapers including the South Bend Tribune, and the Evansville Courier, plus selected coverage of other regional sources and indexing for the Indianapolis News and Star." (from the website)
- Indianapolis Star (via NewsBank)
Online version of the Indianapolis Star, covering from 1/1/1999 to the present.
- Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe
This database provides full text articles for News, Business, Legal Research, Medical
and Health information, and Reference Resources. Lexis-Nexis also has a Statistical
Universe link as well as a Government Periodicals link.
- Los Angeles Times (ProQuest Newspapers)
"Major daily newspaper from Los Angeles. With the nation's largest editorial department, it offers extensive coverage of national, international, and local news." (from website) Covers from 1985 to the present.
- McClasky-Tribune Collection (access via EBSCOhost Web link)
"The McClatchy-Tribune Collection includes a 90-day archive of approximately 290 newspapers from the McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. This database is updated daily." (from website)
- Newspaper Source (access via EBSCOhost Web link)
"Newspaper Source provides selected full text for nearly 30 national (U.S.) and international newspapers. The database also contains full text television & radio news transcripts, and selected full text for more than 200 regional (U.S.) newspapers. This database is updated daily via EBSCOhost." (from website)
When you find a reference for an article by using a database:
In the record for the article, if there is an icon for the PDF of the article (PDF Full Text - or something similar), click on it and the PDF of the article will open. You can then read, print, email, or save it. (If you want to print, be sure to use the Adobe printer icon or you will only get blank pages.)
If there is a choice between PDF and HTML, use the PDF because it will look like a photocopy of the article. If you need to quote something from the article, you will be able to see the correct page numbers of the quote (which you will need when citing your sources). In most cases, the HTML version will not indicate page breaks and will sometimes not include graphics.
If full text is not an option in the database you are searching, there should be an "SFX" linking icon such shown.
Clicking on this icon will lead you to a menu of Access options. Please see this brief Flash tutorial if you have questions about this menu.
If the article is not available electronically or in print through University Library, or if you are a Distance Education student and the article is only available in print, you can place an Interlibrary Loan for the article. When the article comes in (which usually takes at least a week), you will receive an email explaining how to access it electronically.
When you find a reference for an article from some source other than a database:
To find out if University Library has access to an article that you have found in a bibliography or some other source, you can:
Check the Electronic Journal List to see if the journal and issue are available electronically. If not, search IUCAT by Periodical Title for the journal and check to see if University Library has access to the journal and issue you need. If you would like to see how to check IUCAT for access to journal holdings, please see this brief Flash tutorial.
Last updated by andjsmit on 10/30/2008