Why databases and not just Google?
Using Google for searches is fast and usually gives you tons of results. However, when you are searching for specific critical articles for a research project, you will discover that using online databases is an effective way to find scholarly articles which have been reviewed for accuracy. The OE library pays for you to have access to resources which are typically cost lots of money- so take advantage of saving yourself money!
In some cases, your teacher will require you to use database resources only, so this is another good reason for learning how to find articles within the resources provided by your school library.
When you do locate resources using Google, make sure that the article you decide to use contains factual information backed up by research and citations.
General Database Search Tips
When searching the OE databases, use these tips to help you find the best results quickly:
- Make sure you spell all names and/or search terms correctly.
- Use keywords: internet monitoring NOT sentences: Does my boss monitor my internet at work?
- Put names in quotation marks: “Maya Angelou.”
- Searching for literary criticism? Put work titles in quotation marks: “Still I Rise.”
- Find a useful article? Save it by Emailing a copy to yourself (preferably as a PDF).
- Want to find similar results? Use the “See Also” or “Related Subjects” lists- usually located on the side of your article or search results
- Use “Control-F” to search your article for key words
- Citations for database articles are located at the end of the article
- Most databases will translate your article into another language
- Some databases may offer an audio version