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SPA 340/513 (Intro to bilingualism/Living in two languages)

Some tips for getting started:

1)  Generate search terms for your topic in both Spanish and English. 

2)  Remember to think about using synonyms/related terms.  For instance, if you are working on the benefits of being bilingual in the workplace, other words that could be used for workplace are jobs, employment, or business.

3) Review the list of databases and descriptions below and pick at least two databases to try that match aspects of your topics.  One should almost always be Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts.

4) Start by searching for articles in Spanish using your Spanish search terms.  You will likely get far fewer results as our databases have a strong English language focus for scholarship.  Look in the left hand column of the database for a Language menu where you can select Spanish.

5)  Now switch it over to looking for articles in English.  Make sure you undo the limit for Spanish!  You will likely find a lot more materials and may need to make your search more specific at this point to narrow things down.

6) While searching try a trick called truncation.  Truncation means cutting a word down to the stem and then adding an * (asterisk) to the end.  It tells databases to search for all forms of the word.  So typing in bilingual*  will search not only for bililngual, but also bilingualism.  If you cut it down all the way to biling*, you will also be including the Spanish word bilingue.

7) Try cross searching several databases at once!  Many of the databases below come from the same vendor-- EBSCOhost.  After you log into one, look for a link that says Choose Databases right above the search boxes.  You can use that to add other databases from the list that apply and search them all at once!


Databases for articles

Bilingualism is important to and studied in many contexts, so you will find articles in many different databases.  Please read the descriptions of the databases below to help you find the ones that best match your research topic.

This is not a comprehensive list of our databases!  If none of these match up with your topics well, please email me your topic and I can advise on databases for other subject areas!

Library Search tool

If you are not finding enough, you can also try our library search tool, which cross-searches all these databases and many more.

Article interlibrary loan through a database

Step 1:  First identify an article that we don't have full text

Step 2:  Once in ILLiad, check to see if the autofill worked correctly.


Step 3:  Then scroll down to submit the request.


Step 4:  When the article arrives, you will get an email.  Log back into ILLiad to download the PDF.

Finding WCU Libraries' books

Finding WCU Libraries' books

You can find books via the search box on library homepage.  

Step 1:  Enter your search terms and use the pulldown menu labeled "All Items" to select "Books".

Library homepage showing main search box and All Items limiter

Step 2: You will see results for both ebooks and physical books.  Links to full text and/or location information are located under each title.  If you forgot to limit to books, you can still do it on this page right under the search box.

Library search interface showing results and option for limiting to books under search box.

Step 3: Want to see books that WCU libraries don't own, but could get for you?  At the top of the left-hand column, click on "Expand results beyond my library."  When you see "No full text" under an entry, click it to see options for requesting it from another library (you will need to log in to do so).

Expand results beyond your library is an option iunder Narrow My Results


Bibliography mining

There are a couple of different approaches to trying to find the full-text of articles or books from citations you find in bibliographies. 

A.  Library Search

Type the title or other info from the citation into the library search tool.  This approach allows you to check in one place for both articles and books.

B.  Google Scholar

You can set up google scholar (see video below) to talk to the WCU Libraries to make finding full text of articles easy.  But it doesn't work for books, so those still need to be checked through Library Search or the catalog. 

But, Google Scholar will alllow you to do Citation Indexing at the same time as tracing sources.


Google Scholar Search

Setting up Google Scholar to talk with WCU Libraries

Citation indexing

While bibliography tracing always takes you further back in time, citation indexing lets you go forward in time by seeing who has cited an article after it was published. Google scholar is a clear best bet for citation indexing in any humanities field, as it pulls from both journal articles and books. 

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