SA 100 Perspectives on Canadian Society
- Starting From a Citation
- Find Background Information
- Search Techniques
- Find Books in the SFU Library
- Find Articles in Academic Journals and Newspapers
- World Wide Web Resources
- RefWorks / RefWorks FAQs, SFU RefWorks Quick Guide (manage your bibliographies)
Other subject guides.
If you find a citation for an article or a book, and you'd like to track it down, try the Citation Finder or use the Library Catalogue to search for your reference / citation. If not in the Library, use the Inter-library Loans form to request it.
Library Catalogue can be found under "Books, journals, media (catalogue), below the "Find" (4th) column
- If a journal article ---> search for name of journal (e.g. does the Library subscribe to MacLeans, Time, etc.)
- If a book chapter ---> search for "author/editor" of the book (not the "author of the chapter") OR "title" of the book (not the chapter")
Below are some citation examples:
Example 1 - Chapter in a Book (look for the clue "in")
Dacks, Gurston. (2003). "Reinventing Governance in the North." In Reinventing Canada : Politics of the 21st Century (eds) Janine Brodie and Linda Trimble. Toronto: Prentice Hall, pp.204-216.
Author (Last name, First name). Year of Publication. Title of the chapter. (editors) Place of Publication: Publisher, page numbers.
To locate print or electronic copies of the book, try the Citation Finder (choose "book" in the pulldown menu). You can also search for the book's title in the Library Catalogue by Title ("Reinventing Canada: politics of the 21st century) -- to find print, electronic and microform formats.
Example 2 - Article in a Journal
Marchak, M. P. (1988). What happens when common property becomes uncommon? BC Studies, (80), 3.
Author (Last name, Initials). Year of Publication. Title of the article. Title of the Journal. Volume number, page number.
To locate print or electronic copies of the articles, try the Citation Finder. You can also search for a journal's title (B.C. Studies) in the Library Catalogue by the Journal title link to find print, electronic and microform versions of that journal.
An overview or summary from a general source such as an encyclopedia, handbook or textbook provides background, definitions, key ideas, and key authors. An overview will help focus your research. These types of sources often include a list of related books and articles for further reading. Your textbook, Custom Courseware, and List of Readings (in the course syllabus) will provide much background information. In addition, see some of the following sources:
- The Canadian Encyclopedia (Bennett Reference Z 699.5 C27 C25)
- The Encyclopedia of British Columbia (Bennett Reference FC 3804 E52 2000)
- Encyclopedia of Political Science
- Encyclopedia of Sociology (Gale Virtual Reference Library)
- International Encyclopedia of Sociology (Bennett Reference HM 17 I53 1995)
- International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Bennett Reference H 40 A2 I5)
Before searching the Library catalogue and other databases, define your topic - narrowing it or broadening it, if necessary. Once you have defined your topic, analyze it, breaking it down into CONCEPTS or KEYWORDS. Think of synonyms for each idea. Tip: in order to get the best terms for your search, think of the title of the ideal article or book for your topic. Use keywords from this title and synonyms for those keywords in your search.
- When you search the library catalogue or article indexes, use TRUNCATION symbols to find all variations of a term.
"$, ?, *, !" are common truncation symbols. * is used in most searches.
BOOLEAN OPERATORS allow you to combine terms to narrow or broaden your database searches.
AND requires BOTH terms to be found in search results (use this for finding two or more concepts)
OR requires EITHER term to be found in search results (use this for finding synonyms)
NOT eliminates term(s) from search results (be careful, you may eliminate worthwhile articles with NOT)
Ways to search SFU and other BC collections
1) FastSearch Tab, from the search box from home page, and
2) Library Catalogue, under link, "Books, Media" from home page.
New! What is Fast Search? | SFU Library - both books and articles
- canad* AND society AND (race OR racism OR ethnic*)
- Canad* AND immigr* AND ( visible minorit* OR ethnic*)
canad* AND government* AND policy AND immigr*
- In the FastSearch engine, make sure the "boolean" connector words (AND, OR) are in "capital" letters.
- asterisk at the end of a root word picks up various endings of that word. E.g. canad* will pick up "Canada", "Canadian", "Canadians", "Canadien", etc.
- use the "subject" listing in the left hand column to narrow your topic.
Books - Searching via Library Catalogue
You can search by author:
You can search for topics
Use the Library Catalogue to find materials owned by SFU.
Use the Advanced keyword search
- canad* AND society AND (race OR racism OR ethnic*)
- Canad* and immigr* and (visible minorit* or ethnic*)
- canad* and government* and policy and immigr*
From the search results of a "keyword" search, look at the relevant book titles, and examine their "subject headings" more closely. You can cllik on these headings to find more books on the same topic.
- Canada - Race relations - Textbooks
- Canada - Social Conditions
- Canada - Social Conditions - Textbooks
- Ethnicity - Canada
- Immigrants -- Canada -- Statistics
- Minorities - Canada
- Multiculturalism Canada - Government Policy
- Racism - Canada
Articles in academic journals are a valuable source of information. Articles in newspapers and magazines can be useful for local information. From the Library's Home page, under the column "Find", select "Journal articles & databases" and then use the pulldown menu under "Browse databases by subject" to obtain listing by subject/discipline (e.g. Anthropology, Sociology, etc.).
All of them are available within the Library, and many of them can also be accessed from home.
See the guide Off Campus Access Bookmarklet for accessing electronic material from off campus.
In some cases you will be able to read journal articles or print/email them at your computer. However, you may find references to articles which aren't available online. In these cases, the Library may have its own subscription to the journal and you can make a photocopy of it here. Use this tool to locate print and online access to articles. From Citation to Article
- CBCA Full Text Reference : CBCA indexes popular and business magazines, and scholarly journals, and the Globe and Mail and National Post newspapers and is equivalent to the Canadian business index, Canadian magazine index and Canadian index. CBCA provides comprehensive coverage of Canadian topics, including business, politics, literature, history and news events.
- Canadian Points of View Reference Centre
- is a full-text database designed to provide students with a series of essays that present multiple sides of a current issue
- Canadian Public Policy Collection-- Full text of public policy documents from Canadian institutes, think-tanks and research groups.since you are searching fulltext, you can search for very specific concepts: "credential*" or "foreign trained"
- Canadian Research Index - provides links to Canadian government publications (federal, provincial), parliamentary committees, royal commission reports, etc.
- Sociological Abstracts : Sociological aspects of twenty-nine broad topics, including anthropology, business, collective behaviour, community development, disaster studies, education, environmental studies, gender studies, gerontology, law and penology, marriage and family studies, medicine and health, racial interactions, social psychology, social work, sociological theory, stratification, substance abuse, urban studies, and violence
- Social Sciences Full Text
- For a general, multi-disciplinary database.
- Women Studies International Covers information from 1972 onwards. Provides abstracts from journals in women's studies covering topics such as sex roles and discrimination, family, and employment
- Academic Search Premier - Multidisciplinary index to academic & popular journals.
- Bibliography of Native North Americans - Covers all aspects of Native North American culture, history, and life and including topics such as archaeology, multicultural relations, gaming, governance, legend, and literacy.
Statistics are collected by a variety of agencies and organisations on a variety of topics. After collection, the data is processed and packaged for publication. Part of the processing involves grouping the data (i.e. age groupings such as 15-19).
Sources of Canadian statistics include:
- Gives keyword searchable references and short descriptions for Canadian federal, provincial and local government publications, including Statistics Canada publications
- The library owns the (paper or printed) documents that are referenced in this database, but the documents are not part of the database or available online
- Documents are part of the microfiche collection on the 6th floor of the Bennett library
- The central statistical agency of the Province of British Columbia
- Includes current socioeconomic statistics, quick facts, and historical tables
- The Web site is organized by topic
- This handbook includes text and tables on natural resources, social and economic conditions, organizations, industry, finance and the legal system
- Gives a statistical overview of Canadian life and issues
The source is also in print. Location: Bennett (Library) Reference Desk; call number: HA 741 A2
Evaluate Web resources using the same criteria that you would use when evaluating other information:
Accuracy – You may want to cross-check statistics and facts against other sources
Authority - What are the qualifications and reputation of the writer/speaker/publisher? Are they experts in their field? What is their point of view?
Completeness - Is the information presented complete or does it seem that something might be missing?
Currency – Is the information up-to-date?
Documentation - Does the book/journal/Web page explain the sources of its information and how the information was obtained?
Level - Who is the intended audience for the information? Is the level of treatment academic or popular, expert or novice?
For more information, see the guide How to Critically Analyze Information Sources.
Topic Specific Web Sites
Canadian Information by Subject. National Library of Canada's list of Canadian oriented web sites.
First Nations Research Resources. A research and writing guide prepared by reference librarian Moninder Bubber. Covers literature pertaining to First Nations in British Columbia and Canada.
If you are using search engines to locate articles for your assignment, try Google Scholar.