How to choose a database?
Which database?

Choosing an appropriate database, or periodical index, is an essential part of research. How are you going to choose among those available from your library?

Library databases organize particular types of materials. Some index citations for government documents, conference proceedings, book reviews, or magazine and journal articles. Others, like your library catalog, focus on a particular collection. Knowing what type of information you are looking for will make your selection easier.

Most library databases specialize in a particular subject. There are databases for education, business, anthropology, engineering and architecture -- virtually every academic discipline! Other databases are more general or multi-disciplinary, indexing popular and scholarly periodicals from a wide variety of topics.


For articles about: Use a: Such as:
censorship multi-disciplinary database Ebscohost Academic Search Premier
psychological implications of hate speech on the Internet social science database Sociological Abstracts
rights of individuals on the Internet legal or government index LexisNexis Academic

Databases available to you are usually listed on your library's Web page. You may also want to ask a reference librarian; they can usually recommend the best ones for your topic.

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