Why Use Them?

Research projects often require you to look close up at a body of research produced by scholars in a particular field.   

This research is typically collected, codified, and made image of camera with different colored lenses findable in a tool called a subject database.

Every academic discipline has at least one subject database that's considered the disciplinary gold standard -- a reliable, (relatively) comprehensive, and accurate record of the books that scholars are publishing, and the ideas they're debating and discussing in important and influential journals. 

Databases are like lenses: they change what you see and how you see it -- and they offer you easy and efficient ways to bring your questions into sharper focus.

Three To Try If You're Looking Wide


WhyThe advantages of Academic Search Premier are 1) its multidisciplinary; 2) its inclusion of very recent content; 3) its mix of scholarly, news, and magazine content.


Why: GS searches differently from most library databases, including HOLLIS. In addition to searching "metadata" (lots of descriptive info about a book or article, it also searches full-text . This can be an additional advantage when you've got a very narrow topic or are seeking a "nugget" that traditional database searching can't surface easily.

Google Scholar is also an excellent way to follow citation trails. Enter the title of a book or journal article and then click on Cited by when the item appears.

Social Science Premium Collection  (ProQuest) Harvard Key

Why:  This database draws from across the social sciences: politics, sociology, psychology, criminology, and media studies are among its strengths.  You can expect research conversations about conspiracy theories to be well-represented here. 

Four More, If You Want to Go Deep