Picking the best databases to research your topic
Hannah: I need 3 articles for my paper in Art History.
David: That’s not too many.
Hannah: Yeah, but I’m not an Art major, so I don’t know which of these 200 databases I need to search to find them. I tried Academic Search Premier, but I didn’t find anything that fit my topic.
David: Did you try looking at the A section of the A to Z list? Maybe there’s a good database that starts with the word Art?
Hannah: Yeah, there was one, but it wasn’t focused on the right period for my topic.
David: If only they had a list of all the databases you’d need to know if you were a major in that subject…
Guess what? There are lists like that, and other ways of narrowing down the long list of databases to the 2 or 3 good ones you need for a specific question.
Here are three ways to find the right database for your topic:
- Check a subject guide related to your topic to see what databases are recommended.
- Search several databases at once using Research Pro, and see which ones have the best results for your topic. (What is Research Pro?)
- Ask a librarian or your professor for recommendations.
Return to Doing Research.