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Basic and Advanced Library Research

Which Database Should I Use?

That's an important question because the UNT Libraries provide access to over 600 electronic databases! There are several approaches to this:​​

Database tab in Start Your Research section

 

  • For advanced researchers: Use the Online Articles tab on the library homepage; search 92% of the databases simultaneously. You'll want to use the Advanced Search to avoid an overabundance of results - see directions in the box below.

Search EBSCOhost

The UNT Libraries make over 80 databases available to you through EBSCOhost. Some of the databases you may have heard of before are Academic Search CompleteMLA International Bibliography, and PsycINFO. The Advanced Search in these databases gives you powerful tools to focus your search. Once you've learned to search in EBSCOhost, then you'll find most other databases work the same way.

Start by navigating to Academic Search Complete, a multidisciplinary database, through the Databases tab on the library homepage.

 

Select Choose Databases above the search box in Academic Search Complete.

 

Check the databases appropriate for your topic. Hover over the icons to see descriptions of the databases. Once you've made your selections, click on OK.

 

Now go to the Advanced Search screen.

 

Enter the Boolean search you created back on the Search Strategies page.

 

Browse through your results. Read more about an article by clicking on its title. Refine the results on the left to make them more relevant to your topic. Download the articles you want using the PDF icons, or search for the full text articles with the green FIND IT button.

 

On the screen for a single article, read the Abstract for a summary of the article to evaluate if it's relevant to your topic. Notice the Subject Terms, which you can use as search terms in subsequent searches. 

 

Finally, evaluate your search - did it produce the results you wanted? If not, try using some subject terms close to your topic or relevant words from abstracts to do another search. If you're not getting the results you need after a few tries, contact one of our subject librarians or Ask Us for help. ​

Advanced: Search with Online Articles

Online Articles is a discovery tool that allows you to search 92% of the Libraries' electronic databases simultaneously. Searching in Online Articles is a good way to:

  • find interdisciplinary articles
  • find individual articles when you only have a partial citation

Start your Online Articles search on the library homepage; select the Online Articles tab from the central search box. Enter your keywords in the search box. Note that the initial search is limited to full-text online and peer-reviewed articles.

The search returns articles that contain all of the keywords. You will have a huge number of results, so go to the Advanced Search to customize your search.

 

On the Advanced Search screen, you can change over to a Boolean search and use limiters to get more relevant results. Note that you can change the fields where you're searching for your terms, e.g., Abstract, Subject Terms. For advanced researchers, do not limit to full text online so you'll pick up anything the library has in print also.

 

You can further refine your results with the options in the left-hand panel. Use the Preview function to read an article's abstract. Remember to look for the full text article with the green FIND IT button.

 

To focus in on individual databases, note in the Preview section which databases your relevant results are coming from. For example, this article is being pulled from the databases Web of Science, Scopus and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Select the hyperlinks to go directly to the databases.

 

 

Advanced: Subject Searches

If a keyword search isn't working for you, try a subject search in a databases like EBSCOhost and Online Articles. A subject search for articles in a database works the same way as a subject search for books in a catalog. See the section, Advanced: Subject Search for Books, in this guide for directions.

Print and Electronic Articles

The UNT Libraries provide both print and electronic articles through journal subscriptions. About 80% of the journals are electronic, but the other 20% are only available in print. Use the green FIND IT button to check for online availability.

Find It button

If the article's not online, then do a Journal Title search from the Books & More tab on the library homepage to see if we have the print version. Use the Request for Pickup button to request article delivery. If the UNT library doesn't have the article at all, then use our Interlibrary Loan service to request the article from another library.

Ask Us!

Need help? Then use the library's Ask Us service. Get help from real people face-to-face, by phone, or by email.

Ask Us!

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