Bibliography of Bibliographies

Selected list of journals at the Uof T and locations.

How to read bibliographical references and locate book and articles.

One of the keys to a good research paper is a bibliography that is representative of variety of scholarly views taken on a particular issue or set of issues.

Locating relevant bibliography, and insuring that you command the most important bibliography is an important skill, necessary for graduate students in the humanities, and indespensible for those writing dissertations and papers and monographs for publication and presentation at learned societies.

While on-line indexes are a good place to start, it cannot be stressed suffiently that their databases do not usually provide full coverage of the field, especially titles in languages other than English. Moreover, the way search rubrics are defined may "hide" some relevant bibliography. Sole reliance on electronic indices (e.g., the ATLA database) will almost certainly produce a bibliography that is seriously defective in important respects.

Bibliographies can be divided into two types, (a) retrospective, and (b) continuing.

It should be stressed that reliance on one bibliographical instrument is likely to produce a defective bibliography. Get into the habit of consulting several bibliographical tools, both retrospective and continuing, since one is likely to compensate for the deficiences of the others. Of course there will be overlap between the bibliographical instruments, but you will inevitably find in one items that the others have missed, or have indexed differently.

Bibliographical Habits

It is important for graduate students to develop good bibliographical skills--keeping full and accurate records. There are good software programs to do this: NotaBene Ibid(em), ProCite, Endnote Plus, Library Master, to name a few. Develop a system that makes sense to you as a researcher, use it consistently, and make sure to internalize one of the major bibliographical style sheets (CBQ/JBL/Hermeneia; Chicago Manual of Style; Turabian; etc.). Careful and consistent organization of your bibliographies will make many aspects of your research simpler.