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*Ecampus Library Services

Information about library services for students taking Ecampus courses and instructors teaching Ecampus courses.

Ecampus Librarian

Stefanie Buck's picture
Stefanie Buck
Contact:
4th Floor, Valley Library
541.737.7273
Website / Blog PageSkype Contact
Subjects:Ecampus, Psychology

Starting Online Databases

General databases cover all kinds of subject and all kinds of sources (newspapers articles, journal articles, book reviews, magazine articles). The general databases are a good place to start if you need articles from different kinds of sources or if you are not sure which database is the best place to start.

To see a list of all the databases available through the OSU Libraries, go to the Research Databases list. Use the Filter option at the top of the list to narrow down the list of databases by discipline or broad subject area.

Choosing a database

A good place to start when you are searching for articles is one of the library online databases. The library subscribes to many databases which are like indexes to different journals, magazines and newspapers. You can search for articles by topic or, if you already know the information, by author or title. Many of the databases have the full text of the article available so you can just download or print a copy.

  • Go to the Library home page and click on Databases A-Z (below the search box). This will take you to an alphabetical list of all our databases.
  • To see a list of databases recommended for a specific discipline, use the Subject drop-down on the database page. Select a general topic area from the drop-down and click Search. 
  • Mosts databases include a brief description which tells you more about the type of materials included in the database and the topics and time periods it covers.

 

Searching a database

The most effective way to search the online databases is to enter terms or keywords that effectively describe your topic.

  • Use broad, meaningful keywords when you search. Don't use sentences or phrases.
  • Use just a few keywords (1-3). You can always add keywords later if you need to refine your search.
  • Use the facets or limits to help refine you search. For example, you can narrow your search by date or by geographic region.
  • When you review your results, look at the abstracts or subject headings for other keywords you can use to improve your search.
  • Be prepared to do several searches. Research is a process that takes time.

Searching Google Scholar

With Google Scholar you can search broadly (across several disciplines) with one search.  You can use Google Scholar to find peer-reviewed articles, but you will also find pre-print copies of articles, conference papers, white papers, patents, legal opinions and more.

  1. Before you start -- go to Scholar Preferences and enter Oregon State University in the Library Links field.
  2. Enter your keywords in the search box.
  3. Browse results, making sure to use the library's subscriptions to get access the text of the articles where you can.