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Choose a Database for Your Topic

Choose a Database for Your Topic

Follow the steps below to find the right database for your research.

1. Determine what types of sources you need for your assignment (journal articles, magazine articles, newspapers articles, books, etc.).

2. Brainstorm what subject areas your topic falls under. 

3. Check the Undergraduate Library's Find Articles Guide and select relevant databases in the identified subject areas. 

  • Example: If you know you need scholarly articles on drugs from the psychology field, PsycINFO would be a good starting point. 
  • Tip: General databases are the best starting points when you do not have much background in a particular area. Subject-specific databases assume some background knowledge and tend to be a bit more advanced. Below are other examples of databases you might select based on the focus of your topic:
  • Topic

    Focus

    Narrower Focus

    Subject Area(s)

    Possible Database

    Drugs

    None

     

    General Information

    Academic Search Complete  

    Drugs 

     

    Peer pressure and drugs

    Education  
    Psychology

    Education Full Text  
    PsycINFO

    Drugs

     

    Physical problems of drug-addicted infants

    Medicine

    PubMed

     

4. Also check what databases subject libraries recommend for research in that area.

  • Example: If you're doing research for a communications class, use the Communications Library website to find recommended databases. 

Questions?