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WRI 1100: Webb

Getting started with research databases

Use library databases for journal, newspaper, and magazine articles. They may also contain information about book chapters, book reviews, and dissertations. "Scholarly" or "peer-reviewed" journal articles will normally provide you with the strongest evidence for papers you write.

Multidisciplinary databases, such as Academic Search Premier and Research Library Complete, will have articles from many disciplines and are a good place to start if you're not sure where to begin.

Subject-specific databases, such as PsycINFO or MEDLINE, include articles primarily from one main discipline and may offer advanced ways to tailor your search.

Not sure which databases might be best for your research? Ask a librarian!

Article Databases

Search for Articles

Step 1:  Start your search for scholarly articles in an article database such as Academic Search Premier or PsycINFO.  

Step 2:  Search for one or more of the terms from your topic, such as psychopaths.

Academic Search Premier search box

Step 3:  Check the box for Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals on the left under Limit To and update dates if desired.

"scholarly journals" selected in list of qualifiers

Step 4:  On the left under Subject: Thesaurus Term, browse and check boxes for terms related to your topic such as the subject term psychopaths or psychopathy.  To select multiple terms, first click on Show More under the terms.

List of subject terms related to topic

               Or browse the results looking for related subject term that can focus your search.  

related subjects highlighted in search results

                Finding a subject term will help you to quickly locate articles that are all about your topic, rather than ones that just mention it.

Step 5: Click the title of the article to skim the abstract and save/email/print articles you find helpful.

              Then search again using new subject terms or keywords you've found.