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CASA/Humanities Inclusivity Program (Summer 2020): Mentor Investigation Assignment: How Do I... ?

Word to the Wise

This page will help you find publications by and about the faculty members you are researching.

So that I'm not putting this in every single box, something to keep in mind as you research:

There may be other professors out there in the world who share a name with the professor you are researching! Pay attention to:

  • The topics/subject areas to make sure they align with your professor's backgrounds/interests/specializations (people do shift interests, but someone is unlikely to go from writing chemistry articles to writing English-literature articles)

  • College or university affiliations (some article databases will include the name of the university the author was working at when they published the article -- people do move around, which is why it's helpful to look at a c.v. if you can)

man hiding in piles of books

Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user katiew

Searching in ScholarWorks

Faculty and students are encouraged (but not required) to make their scholarship and creative work available through ScholarWorks, the GSU Library's institutional repository. (What's an institutional repository?)

Your professor may have uploaded scholarly articles, creative work, and even conference presentations into ScholarWorks.

You can check to see if any of their materials are available there by clicking the link above, selecting "Authors" under "Browse" and then scrolling to find the professor's name (last name first).

**You can also try searching using their name in the general search box, but this may turn up nonrelevant results in addition to useful results.

Dissertations & Theses

This database includes information about dissertations and theses worldwide.

You can look up your professor's dissertation in this database by using Advanced Search, typing in their name (last name first!) and selecting "Author."

You can also look up any dissertations or theses which your professor directed by selecting "Advisor" instead of "Author." This will give you a sense of the graduate research topics they have supported.

(Keep in mind that there may be other professors who share a name with your professor*, so again, look for affiliations and topics that align with your professor's strengths!)

How to Search for Articles By Your Faculty Member: Subject Databases

To get started with finding articles by a professor that you are researching, start with the Databases by Subject menu on the library's homepage.

  • Select the department/discipline associated with the professor you are researching. This will sort our databases by department/discipline and bring you a list of databases most relevant to that subject.
  • Look at that shorter list of databases to help you decide which ones to try searching in -- each database will have a short description of the kinds of topics it covers
  • For the example below, I used Historical Abstracts, because I know that Prof. Davidson specializes in French history, and the description of Historical Abstracts indicates that it covers history for all countries except the US and Canada. (Interested in those two countries? Use the database America: History and Life)
  • Click on Advanced Search (virtually all of our databases have an Advanced Search option!) and enter your professor's name last name first in a search box.
  • Select "Author" in the dropdown menu next to the search box. This limits your search to articles and other materials written by your professor.

example of searching by "author" in Historical Abstracts

Should I click the "Scholarly/Peer Reviewed" button in Advanced Search?

Clicking this button will limit your searching to just scholarly/peer-reviewed articles. Which is a great feature, and will lead you to useful scholarship!

But many faculty are also interested in writing for more general audiences these days, and leaving that button unchecked may also lead you to articles like those.

You can always check "Scholarly/Peer Reviewed" to limit your search results from the list of results that come up. It's up to you!

General Scholarly Databases

These databases are more general scholarly databases -- they cover a broad range of subject areas. All of them have Advanced Search options that will let you search by "Author."

Be aware, though, that you may need to scroll through the results to find your professor. Searching in Academic Search Complete for "Davidson, Denise" turned up at least one Denise Davidson who is not a professor of History at GSU. If you really can't tell, check the article record to see if it has information about the author's affiliation, which should help).

And, of course, Google Scholar will help as well. Click here for information about connecting Google Scholar with the library's holdings.

How to Search for Books by Your Faculty Member

Click here to go to GILFind, the GSU Library's catalog, to get started!

Go to "Advanced Search" (you knew that was coming, right?)

Select "Author/Creator" from the dropdown menu

Type in your professor's name, last name first (see example below)

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Note: I used Prof. Harcourt Fuller in this example, because we also have a copy of a documentary that he produced, and this search will bring up that DVD as well as several books Prof. Fuller has written.

* * * * * *

As you probably know, the GSU Library is currently closed, and we are unable to circulate print books or DVDs.

  • If you need access to a book, please check out the Finding Books tab on this guide for information about looking for electronic versions/ebooks. In a pinch, a book review might be helpful (generally a summary/assessment of a book -- and also an example of someone else writing about your professor's work!) -- see the box below on how to search for book reviews.
  • If you need access to a book CHAPTER or SECTION (an article or an essay published in a book), you can use our Desktop Delivery system -- click here for information on how to put in a request for a book chapter/section this way.
  • If you need access to a film or documentary, see the box below for more information.

Why Book Reviews Can Be Helpful For This Assigment!

Once you have identified books written by your professor, you can also search in our databases for book reviews to get a general sense of a book's argument, even if you can't access the book itself.

  • Our Book Reviews research guide gives information about general book reviews
  • Subject databases (like America: History and Life, or other databases focusing on particular subject areas) will often have an option in their Advanced Search to limit your search to "Book Reviews" or "Reviews." Check under "Document Type" or "Publication Type" to find that option.

Extra! Added! Bonus!: A scholarly book review is usually more than just a summary of a book; it is often an assessment of the author's argument and work. So: a book review of your faculty member's book is also an example of someone writing about your author's work!

Looking for Films or TV Shows?

The library has several streaming film databases: Kanopy, Films on Demand, and SWANK. To link to a film in one of these databases, look for the "permalink" in the film's database.

We are not able to provide access to commercial film streaming sites like Netflix or Hulu (and so on) as these sites do not sell licenses to libraries or institutions. The site JustWatch.com provides information on commercial streaming options for films and television shows, which can help you identify low-cost options where possible.

If you have a public library card/account*, you may be able to stream films through that library account. Contact that library directly to see what your access options are.

*GSU students and faculty are eligible to get a library card from the Fulton County Public Library System, which does provide access to some streaming films. Learn more about getting a card here.