Selecting an index or article database

When you need to find an article on a given topic but don't know where to start...

If you don't have a reference to a specific article, begin by using an article database, which will allow you to search for articles on a certain subject.


OneSearch is a good starting point because it allows you to search simultaneously across many databases and retrieves articles from both general-interest magazines and academic journals in a variety of disciplines. Start with OneSearch and when you get your list of results, limit to the appropriate source type (academic journals, magazines) if necessary.

Other article databases

If you don't find enough material in OneSearch, try using a specialized database. For help deciding which to search, consult one of our many Subject Guides, and pay special attention to the items listed under the "major research tools" category.

To select an appropriate article databases, you should ask yourself three questions:

  1. Does it cover the general field I'm interested in?
  2. Does it cover the time period I'm interested in? (Many online databases cover only materials published since the early 1980s, so you may have to use databases that focus on historical materials to find older items.)
  3. Does it cover the type of publication I'm interested in? (Some cover only newspaper articles or only general interest magazines.)

Or ask a librarian for help finding articles on your topic.