Why use scholarly articles?
Why avoid scholarly articles?
Example: you probably won't find much about a financial crisis that happened last month.
In this case, try researching related ideas, like similar financial crises that have occurred in the past, or relevant economic/political concepts that may have contributed to the crisis which might be discussed in the academic literature.
How do I choose a database?
What discipline is most likely to discuss your topic? Example: use a Literature database for a literary topic.
Do you think your topic is very multidisciplinary? Not sure what discipline would talk about your area? Try multidisciplinary databases.
Tip: No database has everything. It's highly recommended that you always try at at least 2 or 3 databases. If you have any trouble, ask a librarian for advice on what databases to search.
Follow these rules to create an effective search statement. Database screens may look different but almost all of them are following the same rules:
1. AND: Put 'AND' between different ideas. This will help focus your search on relevant articles Example: james joyce AND catholicism
2. ( OR ): Put ( OR ) between synonyms. This will help expand your search. Example: james joyce and (catholicism OR religion)
3. Truncation * (also called wildcard): Use truncation (wildcard) * to expand your search. Example: catholic* will find catholic, catholics, catholicism
Tip: If you spell any of your search terms incorrectly, you won't get good results. If you think you've written a great search, and you're not finding anything, google your search terms and make sure you've spelled them correctly.
If your topic is multidisciplinary or you aren't sure which discipline-specific databases to use, starting with a multidisciplinary database can be very helpful.
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