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Research and Online Searching. Online searching is the acquisition of information from a distant computer through a terminal or PC, involving an interactive dialogue between enquirer and computer.

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Research and Online Searching

Online searching is the acquisition of information from a distant computer through a terminal or PC, involving an interactive dialogue between enquirer and computer.

The computer handles a number of databases stored in electronic form, consisting of references to journal articles, conference papers, reports, books etc, which the “host” makes available to interested parties on a commercial basis.

The computer matches any input search terms against its files and displays any resulting matches which can then be printed out or downloaded by the searcher.

Primary and Secondary Sources

Primary Information Sources

Contain original creative works or relatively new information about them


Journal articles

Conference papers



Internet sources

Secondary Information Sources

Act as indices to primary sources. which have been selected and rearranged under subject headings, authors etc.

Library catalogues


Handbooks and tables



Current awareness sources

Internet resources in Literature


Types of Searching

Retrospective information retrieval

You need to look for information about previous work when you are starting a new project. This is called a retrospective information search. These are of two types:

Background information

Extensive information

You need comprehensive information when you start research on an extensive project or thesis

Searching for Facts

The need for factual information often arises during the work process and usually takes the form of a specific information requirement in order to continue working. This type of specific information can be found in dictionaries, factual data banks, etc.. You need a quick and reliable answer to a query. Factual data banks are renewed at frequent intervals, so make sure that you are using the most recent edition

Other important sources of factual information are encyclopedias and handbooks


Types of Searching (cont.)

Searching forwards from a known citation (reference)

The citation index is an entirely different type of index, which allows you to search forwards in time from a known relevant paper. Researchers cite references to earlier publications related to the work described in their own papers. Through these references (citations) an author expresses subject relationships between the current article and the cited references. A citation index is based on these relationships. It lists publications that have been cited and identifies the sources of these citations. Starting from a known relevant reference, it is possible to trace subsequent articles which refer to the original document, thus leading to more recent literature than the first known item. Citation indexes are designed to facilitate searching forwards in time from a known relevant paper


Browsing is a form of random literature searching for information, in which you select and scan material within a mass of available literature. This unplanned random information searching can serve as a stimulus and can be a very fruitful source of new ideas



Formulating the search strategy

Formulation of the research question and its scope

Identification of important concepts within the question

Identification of search terms to describe those concepts

Consideration of synonyms and variations of those terms

Preparation of the search logic


The Development of the Russian Literary Language

Secularization of Church Slavonic

mixing of official and colloquial language, and foreign elements

influence of Southwestern Rus’, Ukrainian, Polish and Latin

role of technical and chancery languages

West European influences

German: political, military, business terminology

Salon Russian and French

development of genre

Significance of Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol

Significance of Russian scholarly language

Expansion of the literary language

newspaper and publicist prose

development of literary lexicon

Syntax of styles

Role of oral tradition and the influence of spoken Russian


The Search Logic


Wild card

Boolean operators

Controlled vocabulary




Roman alphabet

Cyrillic alphabet


Truncation is used at the end of a word to find variants of the root word. This is very useful when searching inflected languages. Truncation symbols vary among search engines. The most common symbols are:

$ or *

“russkogo literaturnogo iazyka” vs russk* literaturn* iazyk*

child$ vs children

Wild Card

A wild card option is used within a word to find variant spellings. The most commonly used symbol is:


Wom?n will retrieve hits on woman and women

Boolean Searching

Boolean logic is the term used to describe certain logical operations that are used to combine search terms in many databases. The basic Boolean operators are represented by the words AND, OR and NOT


The OR operator is useful for the first phases of a search, when you are not exactly sure what information is available on your topic or what words are used to categorize it. When used between two words, the OR operator instructs the search tool to retrieve any record containing either of the words


If you need to pose a more specific query, use the Boolean operator AND, which limits results to those items that contain both (or all) of the search terms in your query


The last of the three most common Boolean operators is the word NOT. The NOT operator is used to eliminate records containing a particular word or combination of words from your search results


Search for records that one or the other of your terms, but not both.


Boolean Searching (cont.)

The search result for “blue” AND “yellow”

The search result for “blue” OR “yellow”

The search result for “blue” NOT “yellow”


Controlled Vocabulary

Authority controlled names (see Searching Cyrillic Names handout)

connects variant spellings of a name:Pooshkeen, Alexander

English language thesaurus (see Subject Searching handout)

allows for English language searching of non-English sources:Russian literature

Retrieval– Testing the Search Strategy

English Language Search Resources

Library catalog(for monographs, periodical titles, etc.)

Material is available onsite or ordered through ILL

Consortia Search(to extend your search results to other institutions)


Testing the Search Strategy

English Language Search Resources (cont.)


the HBLL Websiteallows searches of individual or multiple resources

Periodical Indices

primary English language indices subscriptions for Russian language and literature are MLA, LLBA, and ABSEES

Full –Text Databases

primary English language text databases subscriptions for Russian language and literature are JSTOR and Humanities Full-Text

Access these resources from the “Subjects A-Z” link under

Russian language and literature



MLA is a detailed bibliography of journal articles, books, book chapters and dissertations. Produced by the Modern Language Association

Advanced search allows for narrowing by field, genre, language, publication date, etc.

SEARCH(Russian literary language) / russk* literaturn* iazyk*

Your search will retrieve a citation to a source, rather than the source itself. Follow the hyperlink to view the full citation, then click on the Locate Item button where the full text is available to you

N.B. Locate Item will not search the local catalog at this time. You will need to do that search separately. Also, be wary of what you order through ILL (do not order the abstract). Check for local (national) availability in WorldCat. Dissertations most likely will not be ordered from ProQuest, and abstracts will be of marginal value


BA 19


Indexes and abstracts articles from journals in language use and linguistics

Applied Linguistics

Descriptive Linguistics

Discourse Analysis / Text Linguistics

History of Linguistics

Interpersonal Behavior and Communication

Language Classification

Language - Pathological and Normal

Lexicography / Lexicology

Orthography, Writing Systems

Philosophy of Language


Poetics / Literary Theory







Advance search allows for Boolean logic, and for limiting a search by subject area, publication date, English language, etc.

Allows different search to be combined

e.g. [Ivan or Terrible or Groznyi]vs[Terrible or Groznyi and Ivan]



ABSEES Onlineis the online version of the American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies (ABSEES). It can be searched by multiple fields, including author, title, publisher, date of publication, and subject heading. There is also full-record keyword searching

Period of Coverage:1990-present

Scope of Coverage:Journal articles, books, book chapters, book reviews, dissertations, online resources, and selected government publications on East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union published in the United States and Canada

Subjects Covered:Anthropology, Ethnology, and Archaeology; Culture and the Arts; Economics and Foreign Trade; Education and Scholarship; Geography and Demography; Government, Law, and Politics; History; International Relations; Language and Linguistics;Literature; Military Affairs; Philosophy, Political Theory, and Ideology; Psychology; Religion; Science and Technology; Sociology; Women's Studies

Journals indexed

ABSEES is now an EBSCO product, and searches identically to MLA




JSTOR is an electronic archive of 794 important scholarly journals

Basic search searches all content in all disciplines

Browsing feature allows you to review entire volumes by disciple and title

Advance search allows search to be narrowed by publication date, journals, etc.

“istorii russkogo literaturnogo iazyka” / russk* literaturn* iazyk*

Has a moving wall of zero to ten years, depending on title. JSTOR archives many book reviews and can be used to find citations to monographs of interest


Humanities Full-Text

(Wilson Web)

Citation link to full-text source

Research need: what is the literary relationship or contrast between Gogol and Pushkin?

narrow search with example of Dead Souls

Gogol == subject

Pushkin == subject

Dead Souls == title/subject

Available through


BYU Electronic Journals (1905-)


Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies

Indexes and abstracts books, articles, manuscripts and dissertations in Slavic studies and social sciences about materials published in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Eastern Europe

Mainly Russian language materials, with few holdings in North America.

Other Resources


“project instituted in 1995 by the Gorky Institute of World Literature … FEB-web is, first and foremost, a repository of Russian verbal art and the scholarly and other texts vital to understanding it”


Language and linguistic studies, Russian literature

Reference Assistance

local or distance