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More Help With Databases

Getting Started

UNT Libraries subscribe to hundreds of online databases with thousands of resources and media to use in your research, assignments, and projects. Finding the exact resource you need can be a challenge so here are some tips to help get you started.

 

Get help from library research experts

Librarians and trained library staff can help you get started with your research, find hard to discover resources or information, help you improve your research skills, or even share tips for locating and evaluating resources within a particular database. 

  • The subject librarians have developed guides for discipline specific databases, courses, and other research topics. Find the right database for your research needs in a LibGuide.
  • The Ask Us service offers one-on-one research assistance; at the library services desk in Willis Library, by phone at (940)565-3245 or toll free at (877)872-0264, and online through the form on the Ask Us page or email to AskUs@unt.edu seven days a week during regular semesters.
  • For in-depth database research assistance, subject librarians are available by appointment. Request time with your subject librarian with the Reference Appointment form. 

 

Know what you are looking for

Some databases may focus on a particular subject or type of resource, the library may have multiple databases with resources for one subject or interdisciplinary databases that have one type of content that relates to a variety of subjects. Here are some of our most popular databases for general and specialized resources:

  • General - EBSCOhost is a great place to start for articles and interdisciplinary topics. This resource compiles results from across EBSCO database subscriptions to offer thousands or scholarly articles, reviews, reports, eBooks, as well as other text and media.
  • Newspaper - For Newspapers try the Access Newspaper Archive or a database like Nexis Uni that offers news, legal, and business reports. For historical newspapers, Chronicling America and the Portal to Texas History are also good sources to begin your research.
  • Citation and Abstracts - Some databases contain full-text or full access resources, other may point to resources that reside elsewhere. Some popular indexes for citations include InCites Journal Citation Reports and ABI/Inform.
  • Reference - Online encyclopedias and other reference resources can be effective tools to broaden your knowledge on a subject or get quick definitions to supplement research. Check out a database like Credo Reference that contains encyclopedias, dictionaries, and reference books for comprehensive searching. Or try a more focused reference database such as the Oxford English Dictionary or one of these Oxford Bibliographies Online databases; African American Studies, Classics, Latino Studies, Military History
  • Media - Some databases may have only audio resources such as the music database Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries, or provided streaming access to films on a wide range of subjects like Kanopy and Swank Digital Campus.

 

Finding A Database 

There are several ways to discover and access the resources contained in our library's databases. Here are some strategies you may want to use to locate the database you need. 

  • Locate a specific database by entering the name in the Databases tab of blue search box on the home page.
  • Locate a subject specific database by browsing within the Databases search box tab or going directly to our A-Z list.
  • Search the catalog to find a database or journal title by provider or other search parameter.

 

Finding Resources Within A Database

Once you identify a database to search, you must still find good resources within the database to use. Though databases may vary greatly in their layout and search features, here are a few tips that will help you find resources in most library databases. 

  • For articles try any general or interdisciplinary database. To search multiple databases at once, try the Search it All or Online Articles tabs of the blue search on our home page
  • Use limiters to narrow results when too many resources are found. Limiters are usually found on the page that lists all search results or in the Advance Search options. Limiters may include options such as limiting results to full-text only or limiting to resources published within a certain time frame. 
  • Look for better keywords to improve your searching as you come across promising resources.
  • Combine terms for more accurate searching and try a variety of terms and combinations if you do not get the results you need in early searches. 

 

Troubleshooting Access

Sometimes access is impeded by issues with the database provider or your own university login authorization. Try these troubleshooting tips if you experience issues getting into our databases, especially if you are researching from off campus. 

  • During the course of normal web searching/browsing (while off campus), you may encounter an article or other resource that is of research interest to you but find that it is behind a pay-wall. You can often pass its URL through our proxy servers and get access to it. On the databases tab of our home page we offer a bookmarklet that can be dragged/dropped to your desktop computer’s bookmarks toolbar which simplifies this process.
  • More help troubleshooting off-campus access may be found on the information page for On & Off Campus Access
  • Contact the IT Helpdesk if you suspect there is an issue with your login or continue to have trouble accessing databases using the proxy bookmark or VPN. 

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