350:379, Computers and Literature: Research notes [379_fa03_research.wpd]
Dana Library has an excellent reference section which is well worth knowing. In addition, the Rutgers Libraries maintain impressive subscriptions to online databases, which yield indexes, abstracts, and even full texts. You may use these on campus or via remote login if you configure your computer. Some of the texts are online in HTML or PDF format, and some indexes and abstracts refer to printed journals and books which may be in the Dana collection. When you find something online you can often save it for future use. For research purposes it is usually best to save an article as text (TXT), without encoding.
Research surveys can give you an idea of the kinds of work - and how much work - has been done in a given area as well as when it was done. Some databases go back only as far as the mid-1990s; others to the1960s. Start with general searches and then narrow them down. Some advanced searches use the Boolean AND to do restrictive searches. Each database has its own way of working. Often you can sort results by recentness.
Usually library materials are more reliable and better organized than internet materials. Don't overlook Google searches but don't rely on them unless you already have expert knowledge of your subject. Two good starting points are http://www. andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/lit (see Hypertext) and http://www.vos.ucsb.edu (click on Cyberculture).
350: 379 is a literature course but you may find interesting tools under humanities, interdisciplinary, history, computer science, and other headings. You can search for titles (e,g. Neuromancer), or authors (e.g. Neal Styephenson), or keywords (e.g. cyberpunk). It helps to jave a searching list of phrases you are interested in. Often you can get an idea of what an article will be like from its title, the name of the journal, the number of pages, and the date of publication, even if you have never heard of its author. You can use promising phrases in titles or abstracts to pursue your searches. Some indexes and abstracts have subject classifications that can also be useful to pursue.
Useful indexes and abstracts:
MLA International Bibliography
Wilson Humanities Abstracts
Gale Literary Research Center
Full text (in many cases):
Academic Search Premier