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SOCC45: Youth and Society

Winter 2018

Article Databases

Begin your search with the following recommended databases to look for articles from peer-reviewed and scholarly journals on your topic. 

No one database has everything. Search multiple databases from the list below to find adequate articles on your topic. To find more databases from the library click Subjects A-Z on the library website and choose the subject(s) most relevant to your topic


Searching for information relies heavily on the use of keywords. Being able to translate your topic into meaningful keywords is the difference between quickly finding information, or having a long and frustrating search for relevant articles. Here are some ways to generate keywords:

  • Brainstorm keywords ahead of time. Consider your topic: Was it covered in course readings? What do you know about it already?
  • Consider synonyms.
  • Do some background research; Wikipedia is fine for this. Consider the words being used to describe your topic.
  • Look at the words that pop up as you type in a database. There might be a new keyword in there somewhere.
  • If the database has one, look at the thesaurus.
  • Find an article that is really relevant to your topic. What keywords are within the article? What subjects were assigned to the article? Look at the references for that article.
  • Consider phrases that are used to describe a topic.
  • How To Search Article Databases

    Example search: How is teenage pregnancy affected by economic status?

     1. AND: Use 'and' between different words to focus your search

    • Type teen AND pregnancy AND "economic status" to ensure your articles include all three terms.

    2. OR: Use 'or' between synonyms to expand your search

    • Type teen OR adolescent to find articles which include either of these terms. If you only search for teen, you will miss an article that discusses adolescents.

    3. Wildcard*: Use a wildcard * to expand your search

    • Type teen* to find teen, teens, teenager, or teenagers.

    4. Limits: Use limits to focus your search

    • If you only want to find peer-reviewed articles, click peer-reviewed. Do you need more recent articles? Use the date limit.