Library Research Guide
To get to databases, go to the Libraries’ home page and click on databases below the Search It box. Databases will find journal, magazine, and newspaper articles (and in some cases other materials like book chapters, dissertations, conference presentations, pamphlets, etc.)
Because this program is interdisciplinary, your topic might fall in a subject area that would be best covered by a database focused on agriculture, education, political science, management, or many others. Use the dropdown "All Subjects" box on our databases page to see the subject listings, or ask a librarian for help picking one that would be good for your topic.
Most databases, although they look different, search in similar ways. You can search the databases in many ways to find relevant research, including:
If the database has a thesaurus, use it to help you find appropriate subject terms.
Use a keyword search for the specific subject you are interested in (race, postmodernism, leadership, etc...).
Use OR when you want to find either of the search terms, AND when you want both.
Keep each concept on its own line with OR between keywords
Try truncating keywords using asterisks: ethnograph* to get ethnography or ethnographic.
Put phrases in quotes: “case study” “feminist theory”
Use limits to help find the specific kind of article you want. Most databases allow you to limit to scholarly or peer-reviewed articles.
Here is an example of a search using Communications & Mass Media Complete. The first line searches for "feminist theory" or "feminist critique". The quotation marks mean that it will search for the words together as a phrase, the OR means that the records you find will have either of those phrases. The second line searches for "politic*". The asterisk allows it to be a longer word, so we will get politics, political, politicians, etc.
Many of the articles you find will be available online.
If you don’t see the full text on the database you are searching, use the Get It button to see if the full text of the article is available through another source.
If you find a citation to something that we don’t own, most of the time we can borrow it from another library. Please allow yourself enough time to do this! Interlibrary Loan usually gets materials very quickly, but it can take 1-2 business days for articles and 3-10 business days for books (or longer if you are off campus).