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Undergraduate Guide to Japanese Studies: Find Books

Helps students new to conducting research, emphasizing how to find scholarly books and articles on Japan.

Example Topic to Demonstrate Searching for Books

Example Topic: Renga, a type of Japanese poetry

We will use renga as the example topic to search for books. Renga is "linked" or "collaborative" poetry in which the writers exchange poetry back and forth.

Remember to consider multiple key word searches

Limit Your Search to Books (part 1 of 2)

A simple search of "renga" will provide a list of materials:

There should be about 24,000 results if you search "renga"

You can and should use the filters on the left of the search results to narrow down the materials you will browse. Click the Book / eBook filter  in the Content Type section.

Use Filters to Limit Results to Books Only

How to limit search results to ONLY eBooks.

The results will drop down to about 260. This is much more manageable and browseable. Most good searches should actually return a small (but not too small) number of books. From these newly filtered results, you will see many Japanese language books. Keep browsing down and you will start to see English language books on renga.

One of the first English language books you should come across is:

Use all the Features of the Libraries Search Engine to Discover More Books (Part 2 of 2)

Use all the Features of the Libraries Search Engine to Discover More Books

Be sure to check "More Info.”

Almost every record has a detailed "More Info" tab, It provides useful information right away, like a summary of the book, the publisher, and the books subject matter.

  • The author has likely written other books and scholarly articles on the topic.
  • Publishers: for books, a university press is usually a good sign of scholarly authority.
  • The subjects section are links that will show you what other books the Libraries owns. The subjects can teach you a lot about the topic you are exploring, like related vocabulary, important people, and important time frames connected to your topic.
  • Why is there more than one eBook?
    • Sometimes the Libraries will own a Print and Digital copy of a book.
    • This book has two eBooks because two different databases have the same book.

The subject links are a powerful tool for finding more books and scholarly articles about your topic. Think of them as hashtags. Just like on social media, they bring together all the content that share the same hashtag / subject.

Each subject is linked below, try clicking them to see what other materials become available on renga:

Limit the Libraries search results to only eBooks

You may want to only look at eBooks. To do this select the "Full Text Online" and the "Book / eBook" filter.

Japanese & Korean Studies Librarian

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Adam Lisbon

How do I keep track of the resources I find?

You can use Zotero. It's free software that works with your browser to make tracking your sources and citing them later much easier. Check out the Libraries guide on using Zotero.