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SSI1-129: Mao's China: Scholarly Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources

The resources and search strategies outlined on this tab are intended to help you complete your annotated bibliography assignment for Paper One.

Some Definitions

What is peer review?
Your professors often will ask you to find, evaluate and use sources that are peer-reviewed or refereed.  Peer review is a process through which submitted articles are evaluated by individuals with expertise in the subject area, who make recommendations to the editor as to whether or not to publish it.  Peer review is used in the publication of both articles in scholarly journals and scholarly books (called monographs).  An article or book published after peer review typically has received extensive critiques and has undergone at least one major revision before reaching publication.

What is a scholarly journal?
A scholarly journal is devoted to a specific subject area, topic or theme, and publishes peer-reviewed articles, as well as a variety of non-peer-reviewed content, including book reviews and commentaries, that would be of interest to scholars (including students like you!).

What is a monograph?
A monograph is a scholarly book on a tightly focused topic.  A monograph makes an argument using both primary and secondary sources.  Before publication, it undergoes a lengthy peer review and revision process.  Monographs typically are published by university or other non-profit presses, although some for-profit publishers also concentrate on academic publishing.

Database Search Strategies

  • Used the "advanced search" interface.  This will give you more control over the types of results you'll get.
  • Put phrases in quotation marks to search by phrase instead of individual words, i.e., "Vietnam War."
  • Use truncation when needed.  An asterisk will tell the database to search for all forms and spellings of a word:

    Japan* will find "Japan" and "Japanese."

    Wom*n will find "woman" and "women."

    Digiti*ation will find both "digitization" (American spelling) and "digitisation" (British spelling).
  • Use the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT.

    Use OR to search for synonyms and expand your search.

    Use AND to connect different concepts and narrow your search.

    Use NOT to further pinpoint your results.

    Here's an example:

Search Primo

How Do I Find Peer-Reviewed Articles or Books?

One of the best ways to identify peer-reviewed published research is to use a subject-specific database that indexes scholarly work within an academic discipline. 

For this course, Historical Abstracts is an appropriate database to search.  Historical Abstracts indexes books and articles on topics related to world history (minus the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present.

Another option is to search a multidisciplinary journal archive like JSTOR.  Use the "advanced search" screen and limit your results to Asian Studies and History journals.

But How Do I Obtain the Book or Article?

If the source is an article and the PDF is not attached to the database record, follow these steps:

1. Click on "Find Article" in the database record. This will scan the online periodicals holdings of Collins Library, iLook for:

Be sure to look at the dates of coverage.  Sometimes online access to a journal is available only for specific date ranges, so you may need to find the print version, if available, in Collins Library.  Note that articles available in Collins Library in microform format can be requested via interlibrary loan.

2.  If the article is not available in any format you'll need to request it from Tipasa, the library's interlibrary loan service, which you can do by returning to the database record and clicking the link to interlibrary loan. Articles requested via Tipasa typically take 2-10 days to arrive, with the majority arriving within just a few days.  Your requested article usually will be delivered as a PDF that is uploaded to your Tipasa account. Look for:

If the source is a book or chapter in a book, you'll need to search Primo, the main search tool that you find on the library's homepage.  When searching Primo, always sign in with your Puget Sound username and password.  This will give you access to materials that are licensed for use by members of the University of Puget Sound community.

1.  Records for books currently available in print format in Collins Library will include a green dot and a call number that tells you where to find the item.  Use the maps or ask any library staff member for assistance in finding books. Here's an example:

2.  Records for books currently available in electronic format via Collins Library will include a link to online access, "view it." Here's an example:

3. Records for books available from a SUMMIT library (one of 38 academic libraries in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) will include  a link for you to "request this item."  Books requested from SUMMIT typically arrive within three to five business days. Most SUMMIT books have a lending period of six weeks.  Here's an example of a book you'd need to request from SUMMIT:

4.  Books not available from Collins or other SUMMIT libraries will not be found in Primo.  Please request such materials through WorldCat, a union catalog that covers libraries across the United States and many parts of the rest of the world.  You'll use Tipasa to request such a book and it typically takes ten to 14 days for it to arrive.