HIST 5031: Research & Methods Seminar: Secondary Source Databases and More

Find Articles in Research Databases



Advanced Search

Depending on your topic, these databases may be relevant. If needed, more choices are in Databases A-Z.

Add/reuse (map from; do not copy):

  • OneSearch with Advanced Search link media/widget (#10098714 owned by Xiao)

Customize sample searches in rich text item below if desired.

Sample searches:
   how racial attitudes influence discrimination
   "critical thinking" AND "higher education"
   motivat* AND exercise
Refine your search with filters on results screen: peer-reviewed journal, available online, etc.

While it doesn't offer some of the sophisticated options available in research databases, Google Scholar can be helpful. See instructions for customizing Google Scholar to provide Full Text @ UHCL links in results.

Most research databases allow you to limit searches to articles in peer-reviewed journals. A peer-reviewed (or refereed) journal:

  • uses experts from the same subject field or profession as the author to evaluate a manuscript prior to acceptance for publication
  • has articles that report on research studies or provide scholarly analysis of topics
  • may include book reviews, editorials, or other brief items that are not considered scholarly articles
Peer Review in 3 Minutes

(3:15) Explains the academic publishing process for research articles and scholarly journals, including the quality control process of peer review. North Carolina State Univ. Libraries

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Creating a Good Search

  1. State your topic or research question in your own words.
  2. Identify the most important keywords (usually the nouns) or short, commonly used phrases.
  3. Think of variations (singular, plural) and synonyms for your terms. It may help to check Thesaurus.com.
  4. Create an initial search statement using connectors or logical operators (especially AND, OR) and, if appropriate, wildcards.
  5. Try it out in one or more databases and/or Library Catalog.
  6. Look for other good keywords and subject terms in search results.
  7. Try revised searches until you're satisfied with the results.
  8. Depending on the volume of results, consider narrowing or broadening your topic.
  9. If you're having difficulties, contact us.

Find more (broaden your results) with OR and wildcards:

trabaj* or labor*

Find less (narrow your results) with AND:
autobiography and slave*

Find less with NOT:
revolution not france

Find less by selecting limiters (peer-reviewed, date, etc.).

Some databases require quotation marks for an "exact phrase".

If you're not finding enough, try simplifying your search, and remove less critical keywords or concepts.

(1:57) Learn how logical operators AND and OR work to help you get good results in library research databases.

(2:05) Learn how to retrieve varying forms of a word and improve search results.

Finding Scholarly Articles on Your Topic

These tutorials include practice in Neumann Library web-based resources and self-quiz questions to help you check your understanding.

See also:

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