The databases listed below work differently than Google or other websites you're used to searching. Here are some things to keep in mind as you go about the research process:
- Choose a database(s) thoughtfully - Even the most targeted search terms will not yield relevant results if the database does not contain materials related to your research topic. It is therefore crucial to spend a little time determining which database(s) is right for you.
- Know how the database(s) you've chosen works - Given that every database has its own particular search functionality, a search that may work in one database may not work in another. That makes it worthwhile to do some preliminary exploration of a database's search options.
- Choose your search terms carefully - Develop search terms that address the major aspects of your research project. Especially when you're starting out, you should try out broad terms so that you retrieve as many relevant materials as possible. This goal can also be achieved by coming up with synonyms for your terms. As your project develops, you will want to use terms that are more narrow in order to retrieve materials that speak to your particular scholarly interests.
While most of the articles in these databases have been peer-reviewed - meaning that they have been vetted by experts in the field - some have not. To retrieve only peer-reviewed articles, you should click on the "peer-reviewed" box in the advanced search screen of the database you have chosen.
Once you have found a relevant article (s), click the button to access the full text. If the library does not own the article you are interested in, you can still access it through an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request. This request can be made through the "Find it" page or you can go directly to the ILL Request Form.
Follow this link to access a list of all the English studies databases available through the library.