Sunday, January 1, 2006

What research database(s) should I use?

It is a common question posed by college students when faced with a research project: why are there so many article databases to choose from and how do I know which ones best fit my needs? The library offers three very useful and easy-to-use tools, accessible from the upper left of the library home page, to help you make these choices:

  • All Research Databases - this is an A-Z list of article databases, e-Book and newspaper collections, and images. Each entry in this list includes subject headings, description and where available, a link to a tutorial and or icon indicating full-text content.
  • Database Subject Guides - pick an area of study that matches your topic and view a list of databases with descriptions that contain content related to that topic.
  • FReD - use this to determine if a specific journal is available in full-text online or browse lists of available journals by subject. You can also use this tool to search within a specific journal title.
  • Having trouble locating relevant keywords that describe your topic? Try the helpful Identify Keywords chart.
  • If you are unsure what topic or subject to look for, try selecting a database from the "All" list above that is displayed in bold. These databases usually have some coverage for all major disciplines and in most cases also include full-text content.
  • Not sure how to cite an article from a research database? Try the Make a Citation tool from the SUNY Institute of Technology or consult the Citations and Bibliographies help page.

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