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Modern Languages for Continuing Education: Finding articles

Guide to resources available for language students, from the Continuing Education Department or online.

MLA database

The MLA International Bibliography is an index of scholarly books and articles on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics.

This database is available through Oxford University's subscription, which means Weekly Class students can access it using the computers in the Library or at Ewert House.

Access articles with MyJSTOR

JSTOR offers a service called MyJSTOR, which allows you online access to six articles per month from home. Anyone can register for a free account at

MyJSTOR is provided in addition to the access already given by the University's subscription. If you would like to read more than six articles per month, you can access all of the university's online resources, including JSTOR, from library computers. If you have a Single Sign On, you can also access JSTOR and other resources from home by logging in.

  Finding specific journal articles

If you're looking for a particular journal article, first search for the article title in SOLO. For many articles, this will take you directly to the online version.

If searching for the article is not successful, try searching for the journal title.  SOLO will find references to both print and electronic journals. It may be that the article is available in print but not online. Check which issue the article appears in, and whether that issue is included in the library's holdings.

You can access e-journals from the PCs in the Library or any other PC on the University network. If you have a University card, you can access e-journals from any internet connection using your Single Sign On.

Finding articles on your topic: quick ways to search

A SOLO search will return a mixture of books, journals and articles in both print and electronic formats. To look for just articles, click on "Search everything" and select "Articles" from the drop-down menu. You can use all the usual SOLO tools for refining your search, sorting results and you can save results to your e-Shelf. For more information, see the SOLO Guide.

You can also search for journal articles in Google Scholar and use the 'Find it @ Oxford' link to the to access electronic versions. Scholar can give quick, relevant results. However, it's worth being aware that Google changes your search in ways that are not transparent. For example, it personalises your results by showing pages similar to others you have already looked at, searches for synonyms of some of your search terms, and leaves other terms out.

More thorough literature searches

For more structured literature searching you should use a bibliographic database. These act as subject indexes to journals and often include conference papers, research reports, book extracts etc. as well. Most databases are linked to Oxford holdings - look for the 'Find it @ Oxford' link.

If you know the title of the database you wish to use, you can search for it on SOLO. To browse a list of available bibliographic databases, go to Databases A-Z, click on All Subjects, and scroll down to Modern Languages.

Using a bibliographic databases enables you to conduct a more precise search. You can also check the coverage of the database. Make use of on screen help and links to help text, Tutorials etc to get the best out of a database.

  Google Scholar tips

Google Scholar logo    

Here are some tips to get the best out of Google Scholar:

  • Use as many relevant keywords as possible when searching.
  • If you have a phrase "put it in quotation marks"
  • Use a minus sign before a word to exclude it from the search.
  • On campus you will have links to 'Find it at Oxford', off campus you can activate these by searching for Oxford on the Library Links option in Scholar Preferences.
  • If you use Endnote or Refworks you can set these as your bibliographic manager preference in Scholar Preferences.