Library FAQ

Answers to common questions about doing research and using the library.

How do I use databases?

  |   0   0   |   Last updated on Jul 17, 2019    finding sources


Searching databases is similar to searching the internet, but databases contain a much smaller pool of information. If you are looking for sources focused on a specific subject area or discipline (for example, chemistry, business, art, etc.), use the Research Your Topic link, then choose your subject area to get a list of recommended databases to search. Sometimes your professor will tell you to use a particular database. Find a database alphabetically by name in the Databases: A-Z list.

Before or after you do a search, there will be many options to refine your results. You can also look at your results to discover new keywords or terms to search with.

Many databases link directly to the items (often articles) they provide information about. Look for terms such as "pdf" or "full text." Otherwise, look for a link to "Find It," which will tell you if the library has access to that article through some other means. If the article is unavailable, click on Get It and Request a Copy. We can probably get the article for you via interlibrary loan.

Finding sources can be complicated. If you've been looking for 5 or 10 minutes and haven't found what you're looking for, contact us for help.

For more information, look at the Find Books & Articles tutorial or contact us.

Click here to view this tutorial in a different window.