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French Language and Literature

Full-text sources, language tools, literary criticism and more


The three brief videos on this page explain the process of how to work with citations for books, articles, and book chapters that you encounter during your research. This is important because many, many information sources are not on the web and are not "clickable" anywhere. 

There are two parts to the process:

  1. identifying what kind of source the citation refers to
  2. Locating the full text

Citations are the "connective tissue" of scholarship, linking a chain of research stretching back over years, generations, even centuries. Learning how to interpret citations and track down what they refer to is a vital information-seeking skill.

Journal Abbreviations

One of the most mystifying aspects of finding the full text of an article is the heavy use of abbreviations for journal titles in the sources you are using. The quickest way to try to solve the problem is to look in the source itself to see if there is a list of abbreviations. Here's part of a list from an encyclopedia about Islam:List of journal abbreviations

The most comprehensive place to look for journal abbreviations is in a book kept at the Library Services desk on the 2nd floor of Alden Library. The book is entitled Periodical Title Abbreviations: By Abbreviation. Here's a sample of what it looks like:

abbreviation sample

This book does only one thing, but it does it very well: it tells you what the full titles of journals are, based on their abbreviations. You need to search for full titlesin ALICE to find out if we own the journals.

Other places to look:

  • If you're using an online database and run across some abbreviations, look for a link to abbreviations somewhere in the database itself.
  • Don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian for help deciphering difficult abbreviations!