Skip to main content

Comparative Literature: Multi-database search

Take note

Especially recommended for graduate students:


 

The Oxford Guide to Library Research

by Thomas Mann

Sterling Library (both in reference and in the stacks),

Z710 .M23X 2005

Multi-database search

If you are just starting your research, for example on a certain topic, do a multi-database search first.  It will give you an overview of the existing publications and some bibliographic references.

 

You can do it from the library's home page -- you go to the Databases and Article Searching page.  Then click on the link for Multi-Database Search (near the top of the page). Or you can use the following link:

 

Multi-database search

 

In the left-hand column, under Subject, choose Lang/Lit, then CompLit.

 

As you can see, this type of search can be very handy, since you can speed up your research process by searching several databases simultaneously.  The Multi-Database Search feature covers 9 resources pertaining to CompLit (e.g. Orbis, Worldcat, MLA Bibliography, Academic search Premier, Francis, etc.).  You can exclude databases if you like. However, there are a few caveats:

 

  • There are additional literature-related databases which the Multi-Database Search system can not include, for example: Humanities Abstracts Full Text;
  • Multi-Database Search only does basic keyword searches and lacks the advanced features that you'll find if you use the database's own interface; and
  • Multi-Database Search has only a limited ability to remove duplicate records, so you will probably find yourself having to page through citations that you've already seen.

In short, this is a quick search tool, but you must be aware of its limits: it will give you a good recall but with very low precision.

__________________________________________________

 

Another possibility of pertinent search in Comparative Literature is to do a following search:

Go to the Databases and Article Searching page.  Then click on the link for Multi-Database Search (near the top of the page).  Or use the following link again:

 

Multi-database search

 

In the left-hand column, under Subject, choose Interdisciplinary then All.

 

This search will generate 28 databases related to African America Studies, Gender Studies, Latino Studies, Medieval Studies, Popular Culture and Renaissance Studies.