Don't Be Fuel-ish
1943 poster from the collection of the National Archives (United Kingdom)
Henry Mayo Bateman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
What's a database?
Simply put, a database is a searchable index of articles from many different publications. You can use a database to find articles about the topic you are researching.
Basic characteristics of databases:
- Multidisciplinary or subject-specific
- Full-text or citation only
- Accessible on or off campus (off campus access requires your OneKey)
- Searchable in a variety of ways
How do I find the databases?
The easiest way to get to the databases list is the "Quick Links" on the right side of the webpage. You can also use the Find Resources tab at the top to get to a link to the databases page and to other resources.
Now that I've found the databases, how do I know which one to use?
Now that you're faced with a big list of databases, you need to figure out which ones might work for your topic. Descriptions of each database can be seen on the A-Z list by to hovering over the title with your cursor and the text will pop up. On the Databases by Subject page they appear directly under the title of the database.
Start by thinking of the following questions:
- What subject area is my topic in? (in the case of James Joyce's Dubliners, any of the following subject terms could be used: Literature, Literary Studies, Humanities, Irish Literature, and other similar terms)
- Do I need a full text database or can I also use the citation only databases? (if you've waited until the very last minute, which occasionally happens, you may actually need the full text, otherwise you may want to use citation only databases too)
Once you've figured out which databases are best suited for your topic, it's time to start searching!
Select the "Search tips" tab at the top for help and tips on effectively searching databases. Keep in mind that you will probably want to use more than one database. Above all, try not to get frustrated and know that you can always get help!
Databases you need for this project
You've been asked to find sources for your topic from a few specific databases. For your convenience, they are linked below.
You have a choice of using PrattCat, which is a catalog of books and periodicals that Pratt owns or WorldCat, which contains records from library catalogs around the world. Those items can be acccessed by either identifying local libraries that have the item or by requestiong it through InterLibrary Loan (ILL), which means that we will try to borrow the item from another library and have it delivered to Pratt Library for your use. Note that ILL requests can take up to a couple weeks, so you need to plan ahead.
Research & Instruction Librarian, Associate Professor