The databases listed below are examples of multidisciplinary finding tools.
Through these databaes you will find scholarly articles, popular magazine articles, newspaper articles, and many other types of materials that have been published in periodicals that come from a wide variety of disciplines and perspectives.
Searching these databases is an excellent way to discover which disciplines have studied your topic, and get a sense of the different perspectives they bring to the topic.
Once you've explored some of these tools you may then want to search a subject specific database to get a more in-depth collection of materials related to your topic that come from that discipline.
Before you begin searching, brainstorm a list of terms and concepts that describe your research question.
When you construct your search, you'll want to connect the different concepts with the Boolean operator "AND."
You also can use truncation (the asterisk*) to find all forms and spellings of a word.
Put phrases in quotation marks to ensure that the exact phrase is searched.
Here's an example:
Google Scholar can be a powerful search tool, but is has strengths (cited reference searching, breadth of coverage in the social sciences and natural sciences) and weaknesses (inconsistency and inaccuracy, lack of coverage in humanities, etc). See below for tips about using Google Scholar to do cited reference searching.
A useful feature of Google Scholar is its ability to allow for easily finding articles which have cited an article that you have found to be useful, especially if it's a "golden egg" article.
When looking at search results, check for the 'Cited by X' link underneath each result. That will tell you how many subsequent articles within Google Scholar have cited that particular article.
You also can search by the title of a known article or book, and if there's a record for it in Google Scholar, see the cited by references for that specific article or book.
Click the cited by link, and you will be taken to a new set of results, all of which have cited the original article, which will still be listed at the top of the page.
If your article is not available at Collins Library, you've got an option for getting ahold of it. Use Tipasa, our interlibrary loan service.
You can go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information about the article you want, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form.
Allow at least a week for the article to come. Most articles are delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.