Seminar in Ethnic Studies: Research Methodology

Seminar in Ethnic Studies: Research Methodology

Background Sources

Specialized handbooks, encyclopedias, and dictionaries can provide quick assistance.  Look at items near these call numbers for other potential titles.  Riv Ref = Reference section of Rivera Library (1st floor).

Various guides to American history:

* American Historical Association's Guide to Historical Literature.  Riv Ref Z6201 A55 1995

* Harvard Guide to American History.  Riv Ref Z1236 F77 1974

* Handbook for Research in American History: a guide to bibliographies and other reference works.  Riv Ref Z1236 P78 1994

* United States History: a selective guide to information resources.  Riv Ref Z1236 B57 1994

* United States History: a multicultural, interdisciplinary guide to information sources.  Riv Ref Z1236 P45 2003

* The Harvard Guide to African-American History.  Riv Ref E185 H326 2001

* African-American Culture and History: a student's guide.  Riv Ref E185 A2527 2001

* The Columbia Guide to African American History Since 1939.  Riv Ref E185.6 C647 2006

* The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Northeast.  Riv Ref E78 E2 B72 2001

* The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Southeast.  Riv Ref E78 S65 P45 2001

* The Columbia Guide to Asian American History.  Riv Ref E184 O6 C64 2001


These sample titles can give you an idea of the variety in background resources available from the library:

* Social Issues in America: an encyclopedia.  8 v.  Riv Ref HN57 S624 2006

* Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender.  4 v. Riv Ref HQ16 .E525 2008

* Encyclopedia of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history in America. 3 v. Riv Ref HQ76.3.U5 E53 2004

* Encyclopedia of Race and Racism.  3 v.  Riv Ref E184 A1 E584 2008

* Encyclopedia of American immigration. 4 v. Riv Ref JV6465 .E53 2001

* Immigration : a documentary and reference guide.  Riv Ref JV6465 .I4725 2009

* American Immigrant Culture: builders of a nation.  2 v.  Riv Ref E184 A1 A63448 1997

* Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America.  3 v.  Riv Ref E184 A1 G14 2000  (Also, look at the 2 vols adjacent to it covering Primary Documents)

* Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics.  2 v.  Riv Ref E184 A1 E574 2000

* A Portrait of Race and Ethnicity in California: an assessment of social and economic well-being.  Riv Ref F870 A1 P67 2001

American Indian History.  2 v.  Riv Ref E77 A496 2003

* Encyclopedia of American Indian History. 4 v.  Riv Ref E77 E48 2008

* Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian.  Riv Ref E76.2 R4 2007

* Tiller's Guide to Indian Country: economic profiles of American Indian reservations.  Riv Ref E93 T55 2005

* Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History: the Black experience in the Americas.  2nd ed., 6 v.  Riv Ref E185 E54 2006

* Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore.  3 v.  Riv Ref GR111 A47 G74 2006

* Black Americans: a statistical sourcebook. E185.5 B512  [Latest in GovPub Ref; next latest in Rivera Ref; older in Rivera stacks]

* The Asian American Encyclopedia.  6 v.  Riv Ref E184 O6 A827 1995

* National Asian Pacific American Political Almanac.  Riv Ref E184 O6 N3852

* The Asian Databook: detailed statistics and rankings...  Riv Ref E184 A75 A86 2005

* Encyclopedia of Japanese American History: an A-to-Z reference from 1868 to the present.  Riv Ref E184 J3 E53 2001

* The Latino Encyclopedia.  6 v.  Riv Ref E184 S75 L357 1996

* Latinas in the United States: a historical encyclopedia.  3 v.  Riv Ref E184 S75 L35 2006

* The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States.  4 v.  Riv Ref E184 S75 O97 2005

* Encyclopedia of Latino Popular Culture.  2 v.  Riv Ref E184 S75 E59 2004

* Hispanic Americans: a Statistical Sourcebook.  Riv Ref E184 S75 H5655 2007 , latest in Gov Pub Ref (2008), next latest in Riv Ref, older in Rivera stacks)

* Multicultural Films: a reference guide.  Riv Ref PN1995.9 M56 W45 2005

* The Encyclopedia of Ethnic Groups in Hollywood.  Riv Ref PN1995.9 M56 M85 2003

* A biographical handbook of Hispanics and United States film.  Riv Ref PN1995.9.H47 K46 1997

* Hispanics in Hollywood : an encyclopedia of 100 years in film and television.  Riv Ref PN1995.9 H47 R49 2000

* Encyclopedia of Asian-American Literature.  Riv Ref PS153 A84 O37 2007

* The Asian Pacific American Heritage: a companion to literature and arts.  Riv Ref PS153 A84 A87 1999

* Encyclopedia of African-American Literature.  Riv Ref PS153 N5 E48 2007

* Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers.  2 v.  Riv Ref PS153 N5 E49 2007


Search Strategy


* Define your problem (question, issue, statement, thesis)

* Identify synonyms and keywords that describe your topic

* Construct strategy using "boolean" operators








1. _________




2. _________




3. _________














* OR broadens search results.  Use it for synonyms representing a single aspect in the strategy above.

* AND narrows search results.  Use it to connect the different aspects in the strategy above.

The * character usually truncates the root word (some resources use different symbols, always check)


Sample Topic (evolution): 

Chicanos in education -> Chicanos in higher education -> performance indicators of Chicanos in graduate programs

(Chicanos OR Chicanas OR Mexican Americans OR Latinos OR Latinas)


(graduate school* OR graduate program* OR graduate degree* OR professional school*)


(enrollment OR retention OR graduation OR academic achievement)



Use SCOTTY to find materials in the UCR Libraries, such as books and periodical titles, and to see if they are checked out.

For additional tips on using SCOTTY, click here.

Keyword:          slave songs
Subject:            education minorities United States
                        minority athletes  (No hits?  Try "Search as Words")
Title:               Race, culture, and schooling: identities of achievement in multicultural urban schools
Author:             Pacifica Radio Archives
                        Reyes, Belinda
                        Obama, Barack
Limit/Sort:       by year, material type, language, etc...

Look for books with bibliographies and references to extend your research further.  Sometimes an entire work is a bibliography.  For example, under the heading "Ethnic groups in literature bibliography" is the title American Ethnic Literatures: Native American, Aftican American, Chicano/Latino, and Asian American writers and their backgrounds: an annotated bibliography.

The catalog for the entire UC system is called Melvyl.


Primary Sources

The library website has a page on Finding Primary Sources, which leads you to a page for Humanities and Social Sciences and one for the Sciences.  Be sure you utilize the interactive tutorial which can be found as a link from the Finding Primary Sources in the Humanities and Social Sciences page.  Especially helpful are the pages in the section finding and the page on help.

Primary source materials are also available in our Map Collection (ground level, Science Library), Government Publications (1st floor, Rivera Library), and Special Collections (4th floor, Rivera Library).  You can obtain assistance from helpful resource people in each of these departments.  (For assistance with Government Publications, start with the Rivera Library Reference Desk, 1st floor.  Government publication materials are also located at the Orbach Science Library.)

Consider the electronic image, sound, and text resources available to you that are listed on our various pages under "Databases by Subject", e.g., "Images, Photographs and Maps", "Literature & Language", "Music & the Arts", and the "Online Texts" portion of "History". 

Dissertations are also a possibility.  These can be considered to be either primary or secondary sources, depending on the individual work.  "Dissertations" is also a subcategory under "General and Broad Subjects" of the "Databases by Subject" page.  Because of our subscription to the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (PQDT) database, note that UC dissertations are available full text for free from 1998-present.

Be sure to check these kinds of titles and their descriptions.  To name just a few examples:

* AccuNet/AP MultiMedia Archive
* African American Song
* American Memory (Library of Congress)
* Asian American Drama
* Early Encounters in North America
* In the First Person
* MOAC (Museums in the Online Archive of California)
     also, look at the Online Archive of California (OAC)
* North American Women's Letters and Diaries
* Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (Library of Congress)
* Smithsonian Global Sound
* ICPSR: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Data Archive  (UCR is an ICPSR member institution.  See Sociology Department.)  The link to this site is under "Sociology" of the Databases By Subject: Psychology & Sociology page.

Here are some links to web pages that discuss polls and public opinion:

* Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research.  CISER Data Archive.
* Roper Center.  Public Opinion Archives.
* Cornell Univeristy Olin & Uris Libraries.  Polling and Public Opinion: A Research Guide.
* University of California, Irvine Libraries.  Public Opinion.

Another resource to consider is Calisphere, " the University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources".  Of interest is the "California Cultures" section, about which you can read here.  The site is a valuable resource for educators.

Many primary source materials are included in major microform sets.  Before exploring these titles, compare them with what might be available online to determine which version you plan to use (such as the list in the "Online Texts" portion of the "History" section in "Databases by Subject" mentioned above).

Sometimes there are guides to these various resources.  For example,

* American Periodicals, 1741-1900: an index to the microfilm collections...  Riv Ref Z6951 H65  [Note that this collection is also available full-text online.]
* American Diaries, an annotated bibliography of published American diaries and journals.  Riv Ref Z5305 U5 A74 1983
* The Papers of John Peabody Harrington in the Smithsonian Institution, 1907-1957.  A guide to the field notes.  10 vols.  Riv Ref E54 H37 1981. These volumes are the guides to the microfilm reels of the papers at Rivera Microfilm 525.  This set of an anthropologist's collected works on the history and language of Indians of North America was acquired as part of the UC Shared Purchase project.  All of the UC campus libraries have a copy of the guide.  UC's microfilm set is housed at UC Riverside.
* Slavery, a bibliography and union list of the microform collection.  Materials listed in this guide/index are located at UC Santa Barbara.  The guide is at Riv Ref Z7164 S6 M53 1990.
* The Rupert Costo Archive of the American Indian.  The guide to the collection is located in Riv Ref E78 C15 R86 2002 (and in SpCol under the same call number).  The microfilm of the collection is located at Rivera Microfilm 688.  The archive itself resides in Special Collections, 4th floor, Rivera Library.  To read more about it, click here.



At the UCR Libraries, newspapers will be found in paper (recent), microfilm, and electronic formats.  Most of the electronic newspaper indexes we carry will also offer electronic full-text of the newspaper articles.  Not all newspapers are available electronically, nor are all of them indexed.  To see what newspaper index databases UCR carries, go to the Libraries Home Page, click on "Databases by Subject", and select the category of "Newspapers".  For example:

* Academic via Lexis Nexis
* Access World News
* African American Newspapers
* Historical Newspapers Online (4 titles)
* Los Angeles Times
* New York Times
* Wall Street Journal
* London Times Digital Archive
* The electronic resource Ethnic Newswatch provides full text access to newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic, minority, and native press.
* The California Digital Newspaper Project provides full-text of historical California newspapers.

Note that newspaper articles are considered primary sources, whereas magazine and journal article and books are considered secondary sources (unless they are interviews, reports of eyewitness accounts, autobiographies, or diaries, etc.).

Journals and Magazines
Magazine and journal articles may be available in several formats:  electronic, print, and less commonly, in microformat (e.g., microfilm or microfiche).  Once you have your citations, to find the print versions of your articles, see the "Locate Materials (UCR)" section below.  Electronic versions of articles might be available via a link in SCOTTY, a direct link from the various article index databases, or through the UC-eLinks button appearing next to the citation in an article index database.

If you know the name of a resource you wish to use, you can go to the "Databases A-Z" list from the Libraries' website. Or, you can go to "Databases by Subject" and select the categories listed there, such as "Ethnic Studies", "Anthropology", "History", "Film & Media Studies", "Education & Library Science", "Psychology & Sociology", and "Women & Gender Studies".  For example, some of the resulting titles you will find can include:

* America: History and Life
* ATLA (Religion Index)
* Black Studies Center
* Communication and Mass Media Complete
* Contemporary Women's Issues
* Ethnic Newswatch
* GenderWatch
* HAPI - Hispanic American Periodicals Index
* Latino Literature
* Oxford African American Studies Center
* PsychINFO-Psychological Abstracts
* RIPM: Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals (1800-1950)
* Social Science Citation Index
* Sociological Abstracts


Remote Access

Scotty and Melvyl are freely accessible from home.

To utilize the Libraries' subscription databases, see Connect from Home.


Locate Materials (UCR), Borrow Items (Elsewhere), Technology in the Library

Arrangement of items in the library are usually: alphabetical, by number, or by call number.  For most of the books, the Libraries use the Library of Congress call number and classification system, sometimes referred to as "LC".  The call number is an address that tells you where the book is located.  (For practice with call numbers, go to the following links, basic and advanced.  Click here for an explanation of how to read a call number.)

Periodicals (aka magazines and journals) are arranged in two major ways.  recent issues are in alphabetical order in the Current Periodicals Room (in Rivera Library, that's in the basement); older issues are in call number order interfiled with the books in the regular collection ("stacks").  Look for periodical titles at UCR in the SCOTTY catalog.  Click here to find out about the Periodicals and Microforms section of Rivera Library.

Use a floor map to identify the location codes and call numbers within the libraries (available at public service desks), or click here to see the maps available on our web site (library maps of Rivera and Science).

Remember: your UCR ID card is your library card.  Circulation Services can tell you about your borrowing privileges and local transactions.  Consult them to see if your UCR card will allow you borrowing privileges at other libraries.  Set up your own library account with mySCOTTY to maximize what you can do with the library catalog.  Here's how you create your account.

Interlibrary Loans is another service you can use for items UCR does not own.  For information about this service, click here.

Follow this link for help with technology in the library, including printing, saving your documents on the public workstations, laptops (DCHP, wireless, and library laptops to check out), scanning, and more.


Document Your Sources

A word about plagiarism, and another page.
Citing your work.


Get Help

For information on the different ways you can get help, click here.


JL 1/10


Last modified: 6/24/2011 5:10 PM by M. Yonezawa

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