Which database should I choose for my topic?
This is a common question since there are so many databases. Here are some tips:
- First, choose a multidisciplinary, full-text database like the ones listed here. If you don't find enough articles, you may have to search a subject-based database. The subject areas are listed on the homepage under Articles.
- Look for the names of databases mentioned in course outlines guides. Your instructors may also suggest relevant databases.
- Librarians can suggest databases for your topic or thesis. Contact us by email, IM, phone or in person.
How do I search the database for articles on my topic?
- First, look at your topic. What are the main concepts? For example, if your topic is "Discuss the impact of global warming on our oceans"
Your main concepts are: global warming and oceans
- Decide on the keywords you will use as search terms. For this topic your keywords could include:
global warming, oceans, Atlantic, Pacific, greenhouse effect
- Use AND to limit your search to results that include ALL of the keywords (Ex.- biotechnology AND agriculture)
- Use OR to expand your search and indicate that you would like results with either term (Ex.-internet OR computers)
- Use quote marks or parentheses to indicate that you want one or more words in the exact order in which you type them [Ex.-“great britain” or (great britain ). You can also put two phrases together (great britain ) OR (united kingdom)
Reference and Digitization Librarian
Al Harris Library
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
ref desk: (580) 774-7082