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EMPOWER: Finding Articles: Databases

Using the Library Website / Finding Databases

What will a database give me?

Each database will give you a list of articles that match your search terms. The list will almost always include the citation information to the article. (More information about citations is in the module called Citing Sources.) Other information may include full text, abstracts, and possible links to full text in other databases; however, not every database will include this extra information.

Full text
Sometimes the database will link to the complete text of the article. If it doesn't, don't give up! There are other ways to find the full text.

This summarizes the article's content. Read it first. It will quickly tell you if the article will be useful.

The citation is the author, article title, periodical title, date of the publication, volume and issue of the publication, and the page.

General Databases

There are two types of databases: general databases and subject databases.

General databases cover many subjects and often contain both popular and scholarly periodicals.

Sometimes general databases are used at the beginning of the research process because they help you narrow a topic. They are also used when your topic doesn't fit into a specific subject, or if you want information that isn't too technical.

Examples of general periodical databases are:

Academic Search Complete
ProQuest Research Library
Academic OneFile
Good general databases that include academic journals and popular magazines.
Newspaper Source Plus
Proquest Newspapers
These databases index newspapers from around the world.

Subject Databases

Is your topic in a particular subject area?  Which article database you use depends on your topic.

If so, use a subject database. Subject databases specialize in a particular subject, and the articles indexed are generally from scholarly sources. Examples of subject databases and the kinds of articles they identify are:

ERIC Database for journals in the education field.
PsycINFO Indexes psychology journals, book chapters, dissertations, and other resources in psychology.
Business Source Complete Comprehensive database for all areas of business.


OneSearchIn addition to the above database types, the library also has a search engine called OneSearch.  OneSearch allows you to search most of our subscription resources at once. Librarians call this kind of tool a "discovery service."

A link to OneSearch is available on the top of every page of our website, in the A-Z Resource List, and on many of our research guides.