Why can I not find bibliographies for the actual books that I am reading?

Expert Answers

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With the advent of computerized databases, it has become comparatively easy to do bibliographic research on most literary topics. Therefore fewer people publish bibliographies per se. Moreover, bibliographies, unless they are highly specialized do not count as books towards tenure and promotion for professors, and thus few scholars publish them. Instead, if you are researching a particular literary work, you can use general databases to compile your own bibliography fairly easily.

The databases you need to access can be found in the electronic resources tab of most university library online catalogue systems.

Steps to compiling a bibliography concerning work X:

1. Search major union catalogues using X in the title field. These catalogues would be WorldCat for the US, Copac for the UK, and Amicus for Canada.

2. Search for secondary works in the MLA database.

3. Search for secondary works in JStor.

4. Look in the bibliographies of all the books and articles you find doing steps 1-3 to see if you initial search missed any major citations.



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