Where to Search - Find Scholarship and Criticism
Every search engine is different, and no one search engine has everything.
Multidisciplinary, All-Purpose Search Engines
- A great place to start. The HOLLIS Use Guide explains what's included and how to use it.
- Optional: complement with a full-text search:
Beyond HOLLIS: Specialized Subject Databases
Subject-specific databases track only the scholarship relevant to their disciplinary areas, and offer advanced search options specific to those disciplines—for example, the MLA lets you search within specific literary genres
- Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLA)
- An essential index to scholarly studies of literatures around the world and from all time periods. The MLA also covers work in related fields such as folklore and mythology, linguistics, theory, film, and popular culture.
- Pro tip: some fields are more reliable than others. Subject Literature, Time Period, author names, and work titles are more consistent---find the word used by the MLA and put it in your search box. Genre and Subject are inconsistent---what you see in one record won't necessarily appear in records for similar works, so you need to use lots of synonyms connected by OR.
- ABELL (via LION's "criticism" search)
- For anglophone literary scholarship. There’s considerable overlap with the MLA International Bibliography, but it’s still worth searching both. ABELL is especially useful for finding work by UK-based scholars, as well as academic book reviews (which the MLA specific excludes). Unlike the MLA, LION also includes full-text collections of primary sources, reference works, and biographies.
- Oxford Bibliographies
- Annotated bibliographies to the major scholarship on specific authors, literary themes, genres and movements. If there isn't a bibliography on your exact topic, search around for related topics and ideas.
Historical and Cultural Scholarship
- Historical Abstracts
- The go-to resource for world history from 1450 forward. Excludes North America.
- America: History and Life
- Covers North America (U.S. and Canada) from early history to the present.
- International Medieval Bibliography (IMB)
- Scholarship on Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa for 500-1450 A.D.
How to Search
Don't Treat Every Search Box like Google
See tips on how to formulate your search on the Dos & Don'ts page of the guide for graduate students.
Pay Attention to Subject Headings
See the Search Vocabulary page for suggestions