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12 Things You Want to Know about Resources: Databases

This guide targets students in the areas of Arts and Social Sciences. All the pages will be updated to provide new features.

How to Find an Article Using a Database

I am currently creating this guide. All the pages will be completed as soon as possible. Stay tuned!

Academic Search Ultimate is a large interdisciplinary/multi-disciplinary database. You can see different perspectives of one specific topic while you need to find your focus in your paper topic. There are various ways to make the most of this database. I will show you one example that I often use. 

Journal Article Databases

For a Literature Review

Repeating keyword searches may not be a good strategy for a literature review.

1) Use academic databases from a big-picture perspective. It's like a seine fishing, instead of an angling. (See the image on the right.)

2) Narrow down your search within the result using the filters (often you can find on the left hand side).

* This method is useful particularly when you do not know which a word or words databases are using to categorize each piece of information.


Scenario 1. You are not sure what kind of action research or participatory research you want to do and you are thinking whether a program assessment may need to be conducted first.

action research example.

After this, you can use Subject: Thesaurus Term and/or Subject to narrow down.

Ask your librarian to know more techniques.

seine fishing

seine fishing image

About purse seine vessels. (2010, September 24). Image retrieved from

Scholarly Articles

Your professor has probably asked you to use academic, scholarly, or peer-reviewed articles in your research. Why are they valued?

  1. Authoritative
  2. Scrutinized and reviewed prior to publication
  3. Place where new research is revealed
  4. Published more frequently than books
  5. Can direct you to more information (i.e. bibliographies)
  6. Sources for illustrative examples to support research

What to look for:

  1. Authors' affiliations (i.e. university where research took place)
  2. Often an abstract (summary) will be present
  3. Bibliography and footnotes
  4. An introduction, methodology, and conclusion 
    (in the Sciences especially)

Scholary vs. Popular

Use the document below to help you decide whether the articles you want to cite are scholarly.