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You can still access the UC Berkeley Library’s services and resources during the closure. Here’s how.

Global Poverty: Tips

The Research Approach

Unless you are familiar with your country or region it is a good idea to get background information first.  Books often provide this so a search in Oskicat for general works is usually worth it. You can then proceed to find more detailed information in journal articles. Rather than looking on the web for a project, see if you can find a related article first.  Then if you wish you can search for primary sources for descriptions and outcomes of the project.

Search Tips

When searching a database or Oskicat you will need to unlearn some Google habits. When searching Oskicat less is more.  Start with simple searches (two to three key concepts). If you get too many results, add more terms and/or apply limits, e.g. by language or material type.  If you get nothing or not enough, try different terms and use synonyms, e.g. "microcredit" for "microfinance."  For example, a keyword search for "Bangladesh" and "Microfinance" retrieves 140 results, which is manageable. You can also click the Google Book link on the right to search through sections of the text and see related items.

 Useful "limits" and "sorts" in the catalog include a language limit (many tems in the UC Berkeley libraries are not in English) and sorting by date or relevance. One useful Oskicat feature is the subject heading. The advantage of this is if you identify the library subject heading for your topic you can see "related headings" like a taxonomy.  One good way to do this is do a keyword search, find a record for a book you like, and click the subject heading. 

When searching a database such as Worldwide Political Science Abstracts go to the advanced search and stack the terms in the boxes. Do not string terms together on one line - the database may interpret this as a "string" and search in that exact order. When in doubt add an "and" between terms.

Google Books

Why use Google Books? Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.).  Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information.  You can then use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book. Try it now:

Google Book Search

Finding Books in English

Since the UC Berkeley Libraries have a world-class collection used by scholars who speak and read many languages, you may see many non-English titles in your search results. If you prefer to see only English-language materials, you can limit your search results in OskiCat or Melvyl by language.

In OskiCat: After you search, click on either the Modify Search modify searchor Sort/Limit Results sort/limit results buttons near the top of the page. Under Languages, select English on the pull-down menu, then click the Submit button. (You can also select more than one language by holding down the Ctrl key on a PC, or the Command key on a Mac.)

In Melvyl: After you search, look for the "refine your search" sidebar refine your search image on the left side of your search results page. Scroll down to see an option to limit your results by language.