This research guide is intended to provide links to the most popular full-text and index databases that are helpful for students conducting a preemption check while researching a paper topic. A preemption check should be conducted before a paper topic has been chosen and should be periodically conducted to assure that any new articles that have been published during the writing of the paper are not missed. Many of the sources you will be consulting are similar to the ones you would find under Finding a Paper Topic or in doing your research generally.
Preemption checking gives you a head start on your research! While you are normally not reading the material in quite so much depth as when you are going deeper into your research, it might be a good time to set up reference management tools to manage potentially useful sources you run across.
The extent to which you search sources might depend on the nature of your writing and the duplication of coverage in research sources available.
Always look for working papers and publications in progress! The publication process is often lengthy, and sometimes it takes some time for new journals to be covered in databases. General web searching is sometimes helpful.
Even if someone has written on your topic, you can usually find a way to amend your inquiry (e.g. change scope, focus on different aspect, etc.)
Set up current awareness alerting services where possible so you don't have to proactively "check again" later. Stay abreast of new resources in your field.