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Database Search Strategies

What Kind of Source Should You Use?

Do you need…

Try this…

Background information, an overview, or established facts?

Reference books and online databases, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, authoritative websites, etc.

Comprehensive information on a topic?

General books in print and online (ebooks)

Current, in depth information?

Scholarly journal articles (use online periodical databases!)

Current, general information?

Popular magazines, newspapers, news websites

Search Strategies

1. ALWAYS use Advanced Search, instead of Basic Search.

2. Use Abstract or Subject field search for better search results.

3. Use Boolean Operators AND, OR, or NOT to include or exclude two keywords.   

4. Use Limiters. Article databases allow you to limit searches to specific criteria such as publication date, periodical title, full-text, scholarly (peer-reviewed), etc.

For More Journal Articles

Journals A-Z allows you to locate individual journals if you are looking for a specific journal, magazine, or newspaper, or an article citation. It contains access to 41,739 titles! 

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) allows you to borrow or otherwise acquire materials not held by the Jung-Kellogg Library or MOBIUS from other libraries.

Google Scholar enables you to search Google specifically for scholarly literature. Fast and easy resource, but remember that it is not comprehensive in any way and there are no summaries or abstracts. Especially useful for cited reference searching.

For many more databases, please visit Databases A-Z  Journals A-Z .


Key Databases for Sociology