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Databases for Locating Journal Articles & Other Materials

If you used Colby's OneSearch tool,  you may have already located articles from some of these databases. However, searching individual databases usually provides much more precise and comprehensive searches of the literature in their respective fields.

 Academic Search Complete A multi-disciplinary database that provides full-text access to scholarly and popular journals in broad areas of academic study, as well as indexing and abstracts for additional titles that are unavailable in full text.

National Agricultural Library; agricultural literature

Anthropology Plus  Provides worldwide coverage of journals in the fields of anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, folklore, material culture, and interdisciplinary studies from the late 19th century to the present.

Business Source Complete Indexing and full text of business-related journals from the late 19th century to the present, plus country economic reports, company profiles, and market research reports.

Business Insights: Essentials  A collection of reports on companies and industries, with coverage including scholarly journals, company profiles, news reports, and financial reports.

CIAO: Columbia International Affairs Online  CIAO presents full text of research in international affairs from a variety of sources such as conference papers, foundation-funded research projects, policy briefs, working papers, books, and journals.

Corresponds to the Journal of Economic Literature and the Index of Economic Articles and covers journal articles, dissertations, and books, as well as chapters and articles in books and conference proceedings.

Environment Complete
Extensive coverage in areas of agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, natural resources, marine & freshwater science, geography, pollution & waste management, environmental technology & law, public policy, social impacts, urban planning, and more. Full text access to journal titles and monographs.

All aspects of human impact to the environment

HAPI - Hispanic American Periodicals Index The primary database for U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American topics. HAPI cites articles published in English and European languages from more than 400 scholarly journals worldwide.

Humanities Internaional Index A comprehensive database covering journals and books in the humanities

LexisNexis Academic Universe Full-text documents from news, business, legal, medical, and reference publications including national and regional newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, U.S. federal and state case law, codes, regulations, law reviews, and international legal information.

PAIS International (1915+) The PAIS International database is concerned with current public policy issues and emphasizes factual and statistical information.  Print and electronic academic journals in the social sciences are indexed with particular attention to articles that bear on public policy, administration, and legislation.

Multi-disciplinary database of peer-reviewed research literature. ScienceDirect is a subset of Scopus.

Westlaw Campus Research
Provides full-text access to federal and state court cases , laws, statutes, and regulations, legal encyclopedias, law reviews and journals, European Union legal materials, decisions from the European Court of Human Rights and selected reports and decisions from the European Commission of Human Rights.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts Provides citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration/policy.

Additional Databases:

JSTOR Online Journals
JSTOR offers archives of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. The entire corpus is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, includes images, and is interlinked by citations and references. For most titles, holdings do not include the last 3 to 5 years, so do not use this resource for very current material.

Dissertation Abstracts Online  Records and abstracts of dissertations and masters theses from institutions in North America and Europe, with coverage from 1861 to the present.

Dissertations are frequently lengthy and should not be confused with journal literature.  Many of the databases listed above provide citations to dissertations, that often appear like articles.   Please discuss the use of dissertations with your professor and librarian.

ILLIAD - Interlibrary Loan

While Colby's journal holdings are robust, sometimes you will want to use Interlibrary Loan to obtain articles not owned by our library. 

Depending on the loaning library, ILLiad (interlibrary loan) requests can be received very quickly or take some time. Identifying articles and ordering as soon as possible is the best bet.

If you haven't already done so, sign up for an ILLiad account. From the Colby Libraries home page, click on My Accounts < My Illiad Account, and fill out the form.

Colby Libraries - signing up for ILLiad

Colby, for example, does not have recent years of the Journal of Peasant Studies. Articles can still  be obtained, however, by locating citations in the Scopus database and ordering through ILLiad. Click on Full Text for a desired article, and you may get a screen like this:

At the bottom of the screen, click on Request from another library (ILL) and submit the ILLiad form. The article will be e-mailed to you.

Can't find an article and need help?  Please ASK!

Searching Tips

Focus your searches on articles from  scholarly journals.

However, you may need to also consult newspapers and other periodicals that have not gone through this rigorous scholarly review, but qualify as being authoritative, such as The Economist or the New York Times.   If you have difficulty determining the validity of any source, please check with your professor or librarian.

Experiment with different subject and keyword terms:

Check dictionaries and reference sources such as Credo for synonyms. Look at the subject headings in the records of any books or articles you do find. Some databases have a Thesaurus of Subject finder in the top menu bar.

Use searching tools:

  • quotes glue a phrase together -  "human rights"
  • an asterisk is a wild card - agro* will find both agroindustry and agroecology

Refine your search if you get too many results - these options are usually on the left side of the database interface.

Find a good article? Use its references or bibliography to find more good articles.


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