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Choosing a Database - Tutorial
To find articles on a topic, there are several possible approaches. Click the plus sign to learn about each option.
- Subject-specific databases focus on the literature of the field, leading to more relevant and comprehensive results
- Advanced search functions allow for more precise searching
- Using the Find Text button leads to free full text provided through library subscriptions and interlibrary loan
- Need to use search syntax and functions of the database for best results; article databases do not search like Google
This guide provides links to article databases recommended for your course. See also the full list of article databases.
- Can search for books and articles at the same time
- Links to free full text provided through library subscriptions and interlibrary loan
- Does not have as many options as an article database for refining search results
- Does not include all the content from all of the library's article databases
Search the library catalog from the search box on the library home page, through the search widget embedded in research guides, or through this link.
- Can help you see what topics are important in the field
- Finds quality articles from a respected source
- Can be difficult to find an article on your specific topic
- Literature found will not be as comprehensive as searching in article databases, which cover hundreds of journals
Hint: Most article databases have a "Journal Title" search field or limit, so you can use these search functions to narrow your more comprehensive search results to these recommended titles.
- Easy to search; does not require special search syntax
- Can search across many subject disciplines at one time
- Usually finds something on any topic
- Difficult to refine search results; not as precise as searching in article databases
- Does not contain all of the articles found in library subscription article databases
- Need to evaluate the articles more carefully, especially ones found through general Google searches
- May run into a paywall to access the full text of the article
Hint: Enable the Find Text link in your Google Scholar settings or search for the article in the library catalog when you hit a paywall.
Suggested Library Databases for ANTH 208
Anthropological Literature This link opens in a new window
Publication Dates: Early 19th Century-Present
Covers anthropology, archaeology and related disciplines (ethnic studies, religion, art history, psychology, economics). Includes scholarly articles and book reviews.
International Bibliography of the Social Sciences This link opens in a new window
Publication Dates: 1951-Present
Includes references to scholarly articles, books, book chapters, and reviews for the social sciences. Good international coverage.
Historical Abstracts This link opens in a new window
Publication Dates: 1953-Present
Historical Time Period: 15th century-Present
Covers world history and culture (excluding U.S. and Canada). Contains summaries of scholarly articles, books, and more.
America: History and Life This link opens in a new window
Publication Dates: 1954-Present
Historical Time Period: Prehistory-Present.
Covers the history and culture of the U.S. and Canada. Contains summaries of scholarly articles, dissertations, and book reviews.
International Political Science Abstracts This link opens in a new window
Publication Dates: 1951-Present
Provides brief summaries of scholarly journal articles and books on foreign policy, international politics, political theory, and government institutions.
Google Scholar This link opens in a new window
Beyond Anthropology: Depending on your topic, you may need scholarship produced by historians, economists, political scientists. Or you may need primary sources such as historical articles or images. Use the E-Resources/Databases list to identify relevant databases.