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ENC 4353 - Writing for Social Change (Pompos)


Scholarship related to your topic will be located primarily in one of three places:

  • Subject databases
  • Online Journals
  • Scholarly books

This module will cover how to access each of these three options, what you'll find in each, and how they differ from each other.

Let's begin by discussing subject databases.

Subject Databases

As discussed in the Accessing Databases module, our subject databases are located on the main database page (linked to below) where you can search them by title, browse by subject, or access them on the A-Z list. The browse option will likely be the most useful option as you consider what subjects are most relevant to your issues. For example, hate crimes is relevant to history, sociology, psychology, communication studies, and possibly others. If you're unsure where to start, two general, not subject specific databases that always yield results are Academic Search premier and Web of Science.

Here are just a few quick links to databases that deal with social justice issues:

Online Journals

Although you can access scholarly journals through the databases discussed above, identifying journals related to your issue and searching them individually can be an effective research strategy. This can be a more controlled and strategic approach than conducting a broad subject search in a database. This approach can also provide valuable insight into the scope of journals that deal with social justice issues, current trends, and the conventions for structuring a study in different fields. To search journals outside the databases, selected the Journals List on the library's home page:

From there, you'll be directed to a page where you can browse our collection of online journals by keyword or title: For example, you want to locate journals with a focus on social justice, simply add that to the search and review the list:

Click any title to be directed to the journal's page in Primo complete with a list of full text options. In many cases, there will be multiple access points on different platforms, very often with different date ranges. For example, the Journal Social Justice Research has three full text options dating from 1987 to the current. No one platform has full coverage, but the three combined do:

For example, if we select the Springer eJournals link, we'll be directed to the journal's home page on the Springer platform where we can get more information about the journal, search within, or browse back issues:

Note that there's also an option to sign up for alerts. Many journals offer this feature as an effective way to stay current on your topic:


The Libraries has a new catalog system called Primo, which replaces the old catalog and Quick Search:

Use Primo to locate physical books, e-books, media, and other materials owned by the UCF Libraries. Use the search bar in the center of the page to gain access to the catalog. From there, you can use the limiters in the sidebar to refine your search much as we did in the database demo. Som ekey limiters include source type, date, language, and subject:

Note that your search will default to "everything" at the top, which includes materials owned by UCF as well as those you can request from other Florida universities. You can change to just the UCF collection from the dropdown menu at the top:

For more options, the "advanced search" screen allows to you combine search terms and filter your results in advance by material type (books, e-books, videos, journals, etc.) as well as by language and date:

Automatic Retrieval Center (ARC)

In the location record for books in the Primo catalog, you'll often see a reference to the ARC:

ARC stands for "Automatic retrieval Center, which is the new building located right behind the library. Much of the library's collection was moved into the ARC to make room for the ongoing renovation. The ARC is not an open collection, so, any time you see ARC in the record, you'll need to submit a request for that book. To do so, click into the record, then look for an option to sign in with your NID:

Once you sign in, you'll be directed to a page to complete your request:

Once you do that, the ARC team will pull your book, hold it at the location you selected -- usually the circulation desk at the main library -- then send you an email notification. They will hold your book at the circulation desk for seven days.