Subject Databases for Essay 2: Four We Recommend

Your HOLLIS may turn up just the right kinds of resources and in just the right quantity for your essay project.

But if you're feeling adventurous, or if HOLLIS feels a little overwhelming, try one of the databases below. It might be a more direct route to the research conversation you're looking for.

Comparison shopping -- even in the academic context -- is a good habit to develop.

Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost)

Why we like it:

  • For one thing, it's broad and multidisciplinary in its coverage, so it will look across many fields of study, from anthropology to history and from education to women's studies.
  • Its range can be a great advantage when you're not sure which academic fields study a topic you're interested in exploring or what kinds of questions researchers tend to ask in their research.
  • It offers you an assortment of articles, some that are scholarly, some that aren't. You may find that reading a great piece in a magazine like the New Yorker or the Atlantic  feels like a comfortable way to first "listen in" on the conversations around your issue.

ERIC [Education Resources Information Center] (EBSCOhost)

Why we like it:

  • For education-related research topics of any kind, ERIC should always be a go-to database. It covers education history, curricular and extracurricular issues, K-12 education, college and university education, education theory, student attitudes and beliefs, and more.
  • Don't be fooled: though its interface is identical to Academic Search Premier (we access it from the same company), ERIC's contents are substantially different.

You get broad education coverage in Academic Search Premier.  You get deep education coverage in ERIC.

What else is like it?

APA PsycInfo(EBSCOhost)

Why we like it:

  • This is the most trusted and comprehensive database in the world for finding research in the psychological sciences and related fields (like educational psychology).

The American Psychological Association (APA), which curates the content in this database, is the premier U.S. professional organization for those who research, study, or practice psychology.

  • Remember that much psychological research is done at colleges and universities and that students are often the subjects of these experiments and studies.

So if your topic has anything to do with the beliefs, emotions, mental states, thought processes, mental health, motivations and behavior of students, you'll probably want to spend some time searching APA PsycInfo.

Sociological Abstracts (ProQuest)

Why we like it:

  • Sociological Abstracts is a  core resource for finding the scholarly research conversations of sociologists, social theorists, policy makers, and social and behavioral scientists. 
  • Expos Studio 20 students might want to explore Sociological Abstracts for topics related to the sociology of education; the sociology of sport; sociology of work; race, gender, and sexuality topics; topics related to class and social mobility; or topics that touch on students' sense of affiliation and community-building, for example.