Welcome to the Classics subject guide - your guide to using the library resources, services and facilities for your subject.
While your course Resource Lists are were you would normally start when beginning to explore a topic, a major part of your learning at university is doing your own research. This means you need to be able to do a comprehensive search for books, journal articles, texts, and other sources relevant to a specific topic that provide a base of knowledge, help you explore a topic and allow you to form your own ideas and opinions on the topic.
This is often referred to as literature searching. To search for this literature you need to use Library resources, such as DiscoverEd, Library research databases, etc.
You can use the Library's research databases to search for journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, theses, conference reports, etc. Research databases usually cover specific subject areas and these databases are recommended for Classics and Ancient History.
If you know exactly what you're looking for e.g. a journal article, book, etc., then you should search for it in DiscoverEd as it searches both the Library's online and physical collection
However, you can also use DiscoverEd to do some basic literature searching and can be a good place to start.
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Like DiscoverEd, Google Scholar can be a good place to start your search but it does not allow for advanced or complex searching as in the Research Databases.
Access eresources using Google Scholar
Google Scholar may not provide access to full-text, however, by linking to the Library you can access full-text where there is a University subscription.
You will now see FindIt@Edinburgh links next to items in your Google Scholar results that you can use to access the full-text.
This short video below demonstrates how to do this.
You can find more reference works related to Classics and Ancient History, both online and in print, by searching DiscoverEd.
There are a number of open access online resources you may find useful in this area. Here are just a selection of some available:
The University has access to an extensive range of online primary source and archival collections covering 100s of years of world history. These databases contain digitised copies of a vast range of primary source documents and material.
Not sure what database to use to search for primary source material or documents? Don't worry, these guides will help you identify primary source databases by time period, country/region or theme, as well as useful cross-searching tools and platforms.
While it can be tempting to launch straight into a search, knowing how to search effectively and planning your search before you begin will save you time and ensure your search results are relevant.
It can be useful to think about the following:
For further help or advice contact your Academic Support Librarian (ASL):
If the library does not have what you want then there are different ways of getting access to the material:
The Inter-Library Loan (ILL) Service:
This allows you to request material either held at distant university library sites including the University Collections Facility, or material not held by the university.
If you are unable to find the book that you need for your studies then use the Student Request a Book (RaB) service to recommend a purchase.
Visit another library:
It may be possible (and sometimes quicker) to visit another library to get access to the item you require. Some reciprocal schemes and agreements allow our staff and students access to some other libraries
A good starting point for information on research methods is SAGE Research Methods.
It contains content on the steps involved in a research project, including a full range of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods for the social and behavioural sciences, as well as many methods commonly used in the hard sciences.
Topics: Key concepts in research, Philosophy of research, Research ethics, Planning research, Research design, Data collection, Data quality and data management, Qualitative data analysis, Quantitative data analysis, Writing and disseminating research.
SAGE Research Methods also includes a project planner designed to guide you through a research project.