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Expos 20: The Art of the Con: Databases for Journal Articles

A Research Guide

Databases for Journal Articles

Use these databases for faster access to more relevant search results.

But . . . won't I get all the articles I need with HOLLIS?
HOLLIS will give you a lot of articles, but specialized databases (like those below) can give you more focused results from specific fields of study.

Academic Search Premier
Covers all academic subjects, and includes popular magazines as well as scholarly journals.

FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals
This database searches more than 345 of the world's foremost academic and popular film journals from 1972 to the present day. If you're looking for criticism of a particular film, use the film's title as a search term and limit to "Production Title."

Film and Television Literature Index
This database covers journals and magazines for film and television reviews, scholarly and critical analysis of cinema and television, and articles of popular interest about film and television. To find articles about a particular film or show, type the title and limit your search to "SU Subject Terms."

MLA International Bibliography
This is the standard comprehensive database of scholarly articles on literature, as well as dissertations, essays, and conference papers. It's worth searching apart from HOLLIS, because HOLLIS does not display records from this database.

America: History and Life
Search for journal articles, essays and books on famous cons in American history, such as the "Reverse Underground Railroad."

APA PsycInfo
Search for journal articles, essays and books on the psychology of frauds, scams, and hoaxes.

Database of Scholarly Research on Fakes and Cons
The most comprehensive index of articles, essays, and books on the psychology, history, and literature of impersonators, frauds, and swindlers.

Google Scholar
This specialized version of Google Search is an additional avenue for finding academic articles, especially if you set the "Library Links" to Harvard, or install the Check Harvard Library bookmark.


Articles in news media can give you basic facts about a hoax or a scam, its history, and its social impact. You can also find interviews, op-ed essays, and other primary sources in news media.

Nexis Uni and Factiva
These two databases of newspapers and other news sources include articles from the 1970s until today. For older articles, use the historical New York Times and other newspapers from ProQuest Historical Newspapers
NOTE: Factiva automatically searches for the latest three months of content only, but you can change this time frame when setting up your search.

The woman who called herself Cassie Chadwick (formerly a fake spiritualist) defrauded lenders of millions of dollars "by convincingly posing as the illegitimate daughter of wealthy industrialist-turned-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie" -- Thomas Crowl, Queen of the Con