Choosing a Database
When you're looking for scholarly journal articles, most often you'll want to use one of the library's databases. While some library databases do have a general focus, like Academic Search Complete, most bring together sources that are focused on similar areas of interest or similar methodological approaches.
Because databases are organized this way, your first step when looking for an article is to ask yourself "What academic disciplines might be interested in my topic?" This question will help you determine which databases you'll search in. Once you've determined which disciplines might applicable to your research, consider using the Neumann Library's Research Guides or the subject selector on the library's Databases A-Z page.
See this list for a collection of databases that may be relevant to researching diversity, oppression and social justice.
Constructing a Search
Once you've selected a database in which to search, you can use your keywords to construct a query. Most databases include multiple search boxes to facilitate the use of Boolean logic. It is a good idea to use one search box for each of your search concepts. For example:
Library databases are principally designed to help you identify existing research on a topic. In some cases this means that a database will alert you to the existence of an article with a citation and abstract, but won't actually provide the full-text of an article.
A library database contains information about the contents of magazines, newspapers, academic journals, and sometimes books, organized in a structured way to facilitate searching. While some databases cover a wide area of interests, most focus on a specific area of study such as Politics, Literature, Agriculture, or Women's Studies.
Know the name of an academic journal and want to see if the library has access to it? Search for it using our Journals List.
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