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Ethnic Studies Research

Recommendations of sources for this field.

Tips for Searching in the Library Catalog

Searching OSCAR, the library catalog, is not at all like searching Google. Below are some really important things to know to search efficiently. Take the time to really read this advice and use it!

TIP ONE: You ARE an ADVANCED searcher!

It's going to take a little effort to get to the ADVANCED search screen, but it's worth it:

Step One: On the library homepage, click on OSCAR - Library Catalog.

Step Two: Click on the large red OSCAR.

Step Three: Choose Advanced Search.


TIP TWO: Consider Your Options!

Always scan everything in the Advanced Search screen. You'll be typing your search words in those four boxes at the top.

Scroll down, though, and look at everything.

Location could be useful. Most of the books you can check out will be in the University Library Main Stacks.

Material Type is useful if you want to find DVDs.

Language is pretty obvious!

Published After will help you limit your search to really current materials.


TIP THREE: Watch Your Language; or, The Devil is in the Details!

What you type into those three search boxes is the real trick. Think of each box as representing one key idea in your search topic.  In many cases, one IDEA in your topic will be a particular ethnic group, like Hispanics, Blacks, or Chinese Americans. So your top search box will contain the words or phrases that could represent that group. Sounds simple, but it's not! Maybe you need to use a phrase, like mexican american. You need to put phrases in quotations. And, do you want to say hispanic or hispanics? Think that's trivial? Think again! Finally, often there is more than one word that describes that group, too.

So, you might end up with a statement like this in the first box:

(hispanic* or latino* or latina* or "mexican american")  


Then you will be using the other boxes to describe the what about? See the example below.

Learning to Search OSCAR, the Library Catalog

OSCAR is the library catalog. You need to use it to find out what books we own, in print or electronic format, as well as videos, streaming and not! It is also your gateway to books available through many other libraries.

Sound great, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, OSCAR is, in fact, rather difficult to search topically. If you know the author or the title of the item you want, it is pretty straightforward. Searching for a topic, however, is, in fact rather difficult. The video below takes off, essentially, where the Meet OSCAR tutorial ends. It is dense and probably won't make much sense unless you have spent time searching OSCAR already or have done that tutorial!

You can also use this URL to connect to it:

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay