Study Materials

Note: Databases listed below have restricted availabilities, and no access is provided through this site.

This section features resources for fresearch: journals, suggestions for how to find books and articles, and guidelines for how to evaluate information. The information in this section was compiled by the humanities librarians of MIT Libraries.


The Journal of Asian Studies. The Association of Asian Studies.

Finding Books

Barton, MIT Libraries' online catalog

HOLLIS, Harvard University Libraries' online catlog


Google™ Book Search

Finding Articles

General and Interdisciplinary Indexes

Arts & Humanities Citation Index (part of Web of Science)

  • Covers articles published 1973–present.
  • Cited reference searching retrieves papers that have referenced earlier works by a specific author.

Humanities Abstracts

  • An index to more than 400 periodicals in archaeology, art, classics, film, folklore, journalism, linguistics, music, the performing arts, philosophy, religion, world history, and world literature.
  • Indexing from 1984–present; abstracts from 1994.

ProQuest Research Library

  • Online access to thousands of journals, periodicals, newspapers, dissertations, and magazines covering a broad range of subject. Many are in full text.

Disciplinary Indexes

Historical Abstracts

  • Covers articles published 1954–present.
  • Covers articles about the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada, which are covered in America: History and Life).
  • Citations and abstracts only but with links to some full-text.

Bibliography of Asian Studies

  • The online version of the BAS currently contains about 450,000 references to books, journal articles, individually-authored monographs, chapters in edited volumes, conference proceedings, anthologies, and Festschriften, etc., published from 1971 until the present day.
  • It encompasses the full content of the annual printed volumes of the BAS from the 1971 to the 1991 editions (the 1991 edition was the last volume available in print form). In addition, there are many references to publications after 1991, including citations to all articles from the 100 most-used journals in Asian studies (up to the present in many cases), and a substantial number of additional citations from earlier years in South Asian studies.

MLA Bibliography

  • Literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore from over 4,000 journals and series published worldwide.

Women's Studies International

  • Includes over 232,000 records from a variety of essential women's studies databases, including Women Studies Abstracts.

JSTOR Scholarly Journal Archive

  • Contains full-text of articles from Humanities and Social Sciences journals (usually not the most current).

Project Muse

  • Contains full-text of articles from Humanities and Social Sciences journals (only recent issues).

Evaluate Information

Read information you find from any source with a critical eye! Consider these points when evaluating books, articles and Web sites:


  • Who wrote it? What ideas is the author trying to promote?
  • Does the author seem to favor one idea over another? Could this affect the conclusions drawn?


  • that the author's name is given
  • where the author works - the author's affiliation or credentials
  • who published the article or book
  • the type of journal in which the article is published (hint: most scholarly research appears in journals that are refereed or reviewed by peers - sometimes called "peer reviewed" journals)
  • the reputation of the newspaper in which the article is published (is it from the Washington Post or the National Enquirer?)


  • Do the conclusions in the paper seem justified? Does the research make sense - i.e. if you were conducting this research, would you feel comfortable drawing the same conclusions based on the results?
  • While you may not feel qualified to judge research in areas that are unfamiliar to you, evaluating information involves little more than being critical of what you read and using a little common sense.


Where's the information from? (see "Who?")


  • the type of journal the article is published in or the reputation of the newspaper
  • if the research was done by the author ("primary" source), or
    if the author is summarizing others' research ("secondary" source) - and if so are the sources cited (i.e. footnotes and/or a bibliography)?
  • if statistics are given or others' work is quoted, are the sources named?


How old is the information? Is it too old to be useful (this can vary, depending on the area & type of information!)?


  • when was the article, book or Web site written?
  • when was the Web page last updated?
  • is it possible that there are newer statistics or research reports?