The Story of Qiu Ju

What did the movie or discussion prompt you to think about?  If you are interested in pursuing one as part of your research this semester for a class paper, check with the library.  You may want to start with the materials listed below (films, books, and databases of research articles).  I’ll also explain using subject-specific databases to improve your search results on a broad term, such as “justice.”

DVD cover.

If you missed the movie, want to watch it again, or share with a classmate, you are welcome to check out the DVD on 4F.  Ask at the library desk.  We have a viewing room (bring your own headphones; sorry no popcorn allowed) in case your laptop doesn’t have a DVD player.  I know mine doesn’t; but it’s so much lighter than my last laptop!  You may also check with IT about their DVD player loan.

If you want to answer “What does justice mean?” try our LibGuides or subject databases.  The LibGuide is a librarian’s road map to finding which of a thousand databases are best for your question.  In this case, try one of these four: Philosophy, Law, Psychology, or Social Work.  Your choice may depend on which classes you are taking, which readings have interested you in the past, or which element of justice you want to focus on, such as personal dignity, human rights, or self-worth.

Databases are collections of articles, chapters, and journals on a single subject, such as Philosophy, Law, Psychology, or Social Work.  But forty databases on psychology can be a bit daunting! That’s why librarians write a guide’s introduction and curate (carefully select) the tabs for background information, statistics, and suggested books.

I just read a lawyer’s review of how law and its study is developing in 21st century China.  If this post looks daunting, that’s why librarians are here to help prioritize where to start or which path to try.

Inside the databases, the search bars won’t work like Google.  You may need to read their “Help” page or FAQ to learn whether AND or + joins terms, whether quotes or brackets join phrases, if plural forms are automatically added, and if a wildcard is * or ? among other symbols.  Some need you to search through the “Thesaurus” (often on the advanced search page) to learn that “Human Rights” is the chosen label for articles on “Justice.”  In that database, you may find too much searching “Justice,” but once you replace it with “Human Rights” you could see fewer, more relevant articles.  Or another example:  “Justice” may not have any results in psychology, but the thesaurus suggested  “Confession” or “Reconciliation.”  If neither term applied to the idea you are thinking of, open the scope notes (blue box) or open the description of “reconciliation.”  It may jog your memory for another term to search.

Some subject databases are technically called “abstracts and indexes” or only a finding aid to know which articles are related to your topic.  The full text may live in another database.  That’s O.K.  You can still find the full text through an SFX box (usually in grey) or using the citation to understand which journal and number to look up on Bobcat’s Journals Tab.  Why are articles under the journals tab?  Because publishers bundle articles together every few months to print as a journal.  The publishers sell groups of journals on the same topic to database providers.  The library buys databases for broad access to research.  So, ultimately, you can find articles in both the Articles & Databases tab and in the Journals tab.

In the end, searching takes time.  It starts with a spark of interest.  Don’t let that spark die with one or two unlucky searches.  Ask a librarian; sometimes talking about the topic opens doors.