Selecting the best or most appropriate finding aid for identifying sources depends almost entirely on the context of your research assignment. There is no single database or web search interface that will work for every research context; instead, you'll need to match your specific research needs to a variety of options.
Library catalog searches (i.e., Primo) can be the better choice when you are seeking in-depth, book-length treatments of a topic.
Multidisciplinary databases (i.e., JSTOR) cover a wide variety of subject areas and may include a mix of popular and scholarly sources. They can be the most appropriate choice when you just want to get a sense of what's available on a topic and when it isn't so important that you pay attention to disciplinary lenses.
Subject databases (i.e., America: History & Life) cover a specific discipline and provide the widest range of access to scholarly sources. They are used for in-depth research. Which subject databases you search will be determined by who may be writing about your topic.
These subject databases may be especially useful for your research projects for this class. Depending on your topic and your angle, you may wish to search additional subject databases.
The databases listed below are examples of multidisciplinary finding aids.
Note: If you need discipline-specific resources, it is better to use the recommended subject databases under the "articles" tab in the library subject guides.
Google Scholar searches open access materials as well as items from many publishers, including some of the resources to which Collins Library subscribes. However, Google Scholar only searches a fraction of the published scholarly literature. Use the databases listed on this page as well as others found on the database A-Z list.
Try these strategies to become a better, more efficient searcher -- and help you find articles that you can actually use:
Tipasa is linked to your library account so you'll need to log in to use it.
Once you are logged in, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form:
Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.
Choose a broad topic (no more than 2-3 concepts) and conduct a preliminary investigation into the topic using four different search tools: Primo, a multidisciplinary database, and a subject database.
Keep track of your results and respond to the following questions:
Save an source from each of your searches that you might use in your upcoming paper.