Skip to Main Content

Research Guides

Jackman Humanities Institute - Scholars in Residence - 2023

A library guide supporting research projects included in the JHI SiR 2020 program.

Databases - Interdisciplinary versus Subject

Databases can be either multidisciplinary or subject specific. You can ensure that you are incorporating a variety of perspectives in you research by consulting multidisciplinary databases or by search several subject specific ones. 

Searching for Journal Articles

Searching in article databases

Search for articles in databases, because they search across a number of journals at once

Search Tips:

Search for keywords that describe your topic. You can combine them using AND, OR, NOT:

AND - narrows your search and makes it more specific by finding results with all of your keywords. Example search: apples AND oranges. Items that contain BOTH terms will be found.

OR - can be used to combine synonyms or different terms for the same concept. Example search: oranges OR tangerines OR clementines. Items that contain all of the words will be found.

NOT - used to narrow a search by exclusion. The NOT operator should be used with caution. Example search: apples NOT oranges. Items that contain the word "apples" will be found, but items that contain the word "oranges" will not be found.

* - The * (asterisk) is used to search for alternate endings of words, which will expand your search and look for more options. Example search: Canad*. This search will give you results for Canada, Canadian, Canadians, Canadiana, etc.

" " - The " " (quotation marks) are used to search for an exact phrase. Example search: "indentured servant". The results will contain that phrase, but not items with both words appearing separately.

Adapted from Cal Poly Ponoma library

Choosing a database

To find more databases for your subject:

  1. From the library homepage, select Databases and then select Databases by subject A-Z
  2. Scroll through the alphabetical list to find your subject area, e.g. History
  3. Select your subject area and choose from a list of databases (you can and should try searching in more than one)

Depending on what question you are researching, you may need to look under various subjects. For example, History is what you'll choose most often, but History of Science and Medicine or Religion, and many others might also be useful.

Select the subject area that you need from the alphabetical list:

You could also click on Popular Databases to choose from that list.

Finding Specific Articles

To find an article by its title, type the title in double quotes into the search box on the UTL homepage. This will search for the title as a phrase.You can also go straight to LibrarySearch and type the article title in double quotation marks. Make sure to select ARTICLES and click on the magnifying glass icon to search.