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 + / - Researching the Digital Humanities
Assembling lists of scholarly resources on topics in the digital humanities can be more challenging than is the case for most of the other older, more established disciplines of study taught at Hamilton. Among the reasons for this:
  • Digital humanities is a relatively young and rapidly developing field of inquiry.
  • There is no single resource that seeks to index the majority of scholarly work published in the field.
  • Much of the important scholarship in this area of study is not published in books or peer reviewed journals.

This guide is aimed at providing strategies and tools for finding, organizing, and sharing scholarly publications using the library's subscription databases. These sources need to be supplemented through searching the Internet. Once you have done this, the best way to expand your research will be to locate additional books, articles, websites, and other resources discussed in the resources you have identified.
 + / - Research Starting Points
Your searches are likely to be most successful if you use a multidisciplinary database like Academic Search Premier or search multiple databases at one time using Quick Search. For books, start with ALEX.

Academic Search Premier Restricted Resource
Index of nearly 8,000 scholarly journals and popular magazines in all areas of study. Includes the full text for more than 4,600 titles. Coverage varies by publication.

Quick Search Restricted Resource
Searches multiple databases with links to articles, images, books and more. Good starting point for preliminary and interdisciplinary searches. Be sure to check the boxes next to both "Arts & Humanities" and "Social Sciences" to start your search. The results for individual databases included in your search can be found by hovering over the database names in the righthand column of the results screen. In some cases, you may wish to do a separate search in databases showing a high number of results.

ALEX Unrestricted Resource
The Hamilton College Library catalog. Search for print and electronic books, journals, videos, and other resources available at Hamilton.
 + / - Search Strategies
Start with what you know.
  • Compile a list of terms associated with your topic from class readings
  • Identify books, articles, and websites referred to in your class readings
Keep searches simple.
  • Start with a keyword search of no more than two or three terms connected by the word AND
  • Or, try searching for a book or article you have already found to be useful
  • Identify subject headings from your results that describe your topic
  • Replace your original search with a keyword search using terms found in  subject headings
  • Repeat your search
Focus your search.
  • Once you have identified one or two words/phrases that bring you good results, add a third term to focus your search
  • Limit your search to "peer reviewed" or "scholarly" sources
  • Sort your search results by date to find the most recent scholarship
Refine your search.
  • Repeat your search after reading some of the books and articles you find
  • Mine the footnotes of books and articles on your topic for additional sources
Retrieve books and articles.
  • If you don't find a link to an article with the record describing it, click the "Find It" icon to search for the full text in another database
  • If your book or article isn't available at Hamilton, request it from another library
  • If you have a citation for a book, search ALEX
  • If you have a citation for an article, choose the "Journals A to Z" tab on the home page and enter the title of the journal in which your article appears
Document your research.
  • Keep a list of keywords that have led to successful searches
  • Keep a list of databases where you have found the most resources
  • Export the citations you find to RefWorks so you can consult them later or create a bibliography

 + / - Literature Reviews
What is a Literature Review?

"A formal, reflective survey of the most significant and relevant works of published and peer-reviewed academic research on a particular topic, summarizing and discussing their findings and methodologies in order to reflect the current state of knowledge in the field and the key questions raised. Literature reviews do not themselves present any previously unpublished research. They may be published as review articles in academic journals or as an element in a thesis or dissertation: in the case of the latter, they serve to situate the current study within the field." From Daniel Chandler and Rod Munday, Dictionary of Media and Communication (London: Oxford University Press, 2011)


 + / - Citing Sources
The preferred citation style listed in your course syllabus follow the Chicago Manual of Style. The resources listed below can be particularly helpful.

Research and Documentation Online - Chicago Style Unrestricted Resource
A good starting place. Provides rules and examples for documenting commonly cited resource using Chicago style.

Chicago Manual of Style Restricted Resource
Guide to researching, writing, and documenting sources in the humanities and social sciences. Print edition is available at Ref Desk Z253 .U69 2010.

RefWorks Restricted Resource
Research management tool that generates bibliographies, formats footnotes, and stores information imported from the library's databases and other online resources.

 + / - Cultural Analytics
Class readings related to this approach:

Key words associated with this approach:
  • humanities
  • analytics
  • visualization

Examples of this approach from the syllabus:

 + / - Archive Development
Class readings related to this approach:

Key words associated with this approach:
  • humanities
  • digital
  • archives
  • libraries
  • metadata

Examples of this approach from the syllabus:

 + / - Geospatial Humanities
Class readings related to this approach:

Key words associated with this approach:
  • humanities
  • geospatial
  • mapping
  • gis
  • spatial
  • literary
  • geography
  • visualization

Examples of this approach from the syllabus:

 + / - Crowdsourcing
Class readings related to this approach:

Key words associated with this approach:
  • humanities
  • crowdsourcing

Examples of this approach from the syllabus:

 + / - Virtual World / 3D Modeling
Class readings related to this approach:

Key words associated with this approach:
  • humanities
  • virtual reality
  • three-dimensional
  • computer modeling

Examples of this approach from the syllabus:

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 + / - Subject Specialist
Picture: Reid Larson

Reid Larson
Research Librarian
Tel: (315) 859-4480