Conducting Electronic Research

Searching Electronic Databases

There are a wide range of electronic databases on the Internet. Some of them are free. Most, however, are available only by subscription. All university libraries pay licensing fees to a wide variety of selected databases in order to provide students, faculty and staff with the necessary access.

These licensing agreements often allow access only through library computers or those connected to the campus network. Contact your library to determine which databases you can access via the Internet.

Like library catalogs, electronic databases are searchable by author, title, subject and keyword. The first two are fairly straightforward. An author's name, or the title of a book, journal, magazine, newspaper or multi-media item, is entered into the search field and the results are displayed in a new browser window.

Subject searches are more complicated and are often more successful when done in combination with a keyword search. The following links will take you through the electronic steps used to search several popular databases. All others will operate similarly. If you have any difficulty, ask a reference or subject-area librarian for help.

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Introduction