The academic field of Linguistics is blessed with several very good bibliographic databases. Each database has its specialties and strengths, and each database has its idiosnycratic search technique.
For more information on Penn Libraries linguistics databases, see our research guide:
LLBA is a bibliographic database that describes the academic journal literature in linguistics and related fields,1973 to today. LLBA also describes books, book chapters, and dissertations. LLBA indexes a core of ~600 journals, with selective coverage of an additional ~900 journals.
LLBA claims to have broad geographic coverage, with titles from 100+ countries, with 56% of its currently-indexed titles come from Western Europe, and 21% from North America.
The LLBA's ProQuest Advanced Search template permits you to construct a search using multiple synonyms linked with "OR" on an individual search line and combining those synonym sets using "AND" between search lines.
The LLBA Advanced Search template has dropdown field tags to narrow search terms to subjects, authors, and more. Avoid using the field tag, "Anywhere", which will search within fulltext. Use the field tag, "Anywhere except full text" to search for words in article titles, abstracts, and subject terms.
When you connect to LLBA, you can access a Thesaurus of subject headings assigned to each item contained in the database. Important LLBA descriptors include:
These indicate a broad subject area and represent the major focus of the article. The classification codes can be searched by numeric code or word. Useful codes include:
4130 English as a second/foreign language instruction. Search for : cc(4130)
4132 English as a second/foreign language learning. Search for : cc(4132)
NB. LLBA stopped using Classification Codes around the year 2018. Therefore, Classification Code searching will not retrieve recent articles.
BLLDB is a bibliographic database that describes the academic journal literature in linguistics and related fields, 1971 to today. BLLDB also indexes articles in conference proceedings, books, dissertations, and Festschrifts. BLLDB covers 1,980+ journal titles, including many academic department working papers series.
BLLDB is produced by the Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main in its role as a German center for linguistics research. The database is particularly strong on Western European languages and has strong worldwide subject coverage.
Click on the menu bar "Search" link for the BLLDB Advanced Search template. The field tag dropdown menus will let you search for "Free text" ( that is, words in author, title, classifications, and other parts of the bibliographic record), Author, Title, and Subject terms/Classification.
Use double-quote marks to search for phrases. BLLDB's Advanced Search template defaults to inserting AND between words entered in to one search line.
BLLDB's subject indexing uses a hierarchical classification scheme. You can browse the Classification hierarchies by clicking on the menu bar's "Classification" link. For Advanced Searching, do not build synonym sets. Instead, put one subject's Classification term or word into one line and put another subject's Classification term into another line, and link them with the "AND" button.
The BLLDB Classification scheme has three general categories :
BLLDB Classification terms are hierarchical, and the terms are formatted so that narrow terms include their broader terms. Some examples:
Domains / Applied linguistics / Language teaching / Foreign language teaching / Teaching English as a second language
Domains / Pragmalinguistics / Other communication situations / Instructional communication
Levels / Text linguistics / Text types / Argumentative discourse
TIP! If you're new to BLLDB, try an Advanced Search that uses any terms you think are relevant, one term = one subject per line. Look at the results. For artlcles that look interesting, look at their Domain and Level Classifications. Then return to the Classifications page to drill down into those Domans and Levels, so that you can see whether you might be better served by searching again for a broader Classification.