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How Can I Find Good Sources? - Using Academic Databases and Search Engines

When popular search engines, such as Yahoo!, Dogpile, and Google, yield many "hits," research seems to be very easy, perhaps too easy. For these search engines are not the only ones scholars and students can use; they, in fact, do not reach a large part of the World Wide Web, and the Web is not the only place to seek useful sources. When we sometimes complain that we can't find anything during research, what we actually are stating is that we have not looked in the right places yet!

The UH Libraries' web site includes some excellent databases for student researchers and professional scholars. One of the easiest to use is Academic Search Elite, which is listed under EBSCOhost. It includes scholarly as well as scholarly sources; many of which are full-text articles, meaning the entire article is available online immediately. As tempting as that may sound, don't make the mistake of limiting your research to only full-text articles because you will miss many other sources, such as books and articles that can be found easily, either in the library or through Interlibrary Loan. EBSCOhost and other research services include databases that are specifically designed for particular disciplines, such as fine art, business, economics, education, engineering, chemistry, health, literature, mathematics, and psychology.

If Yahoo!, Dogpile, and Google yield few "hits," one of the following academic search engines, which are maintained by librarians and scholars, should help you find valuable research sources:

For more advice on searching the Web, go to Part 7 of the University of Hartford Libraries' Information Skills Tutorial. To learn how to locate, books, articles, and
other sources, go to Parts 2-6.