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Choosing a Database: Find Articles & More

Do you need articles for a paper or project? Not sure how to find them? Start here!

What Is a Database?

A library database is a searchable collection of item records.

There are records for all types of material, including scholarly articles (often with full-text).

Colby has 400+ databases that focus on different academic subjects and format types.

Most of this material CANNOT be freely accessed via Google.

Photo with permission of Laine Thielstrom

Look for Scholarly Journals

Scholarly/Academic Journals...

  • report original research in a specific discipline
  • use in-text citations and bibliographies
  • often contain articles peer-reviewed by scholarly experts
  • are important to college-level work

Look for a check box to narrow your database search results to articles from peer-reviewed journals.

How Do I Choose the Right Database for My Need?


Method 1: Use Library Research Guides and Course Guides

From the Colby Libraries home page:

a. Either click on   Guides   (orange bar moves) then  Research Guides

b. OR click on the Guides icon in the Icon Menu on the right. 

c. Choose a guide relevant to your subject  and look for links to recommended databases (and other great resources).


Method 2: Use the Subject Drop-Down in our A-Z Database List

From the Colby Libraries home page:

a. Click on   Databases   (orange bar moves) then Databases by Title/Subject >

b. This takes you to our A-Z Database ListLook at the drop-down menus at the top.

c. Use Subjects drop-down menu to choose your subject area.

d. Use Database Types drop-down menu to choose the type of material you need. Select Journal Articles if you are looking for articles from scholarly journals.

e. Scroll through results to find recommended databases.

Library Resources vs. Google

If all possible information sources were in a castle, your Google results would only be the entryway closet.

Unlock doors to better search results by using library resources!

Photo: Castle, Dublin Ireland, Flickr, Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Need assistance? There are several options to choose from:

We're happy to help!

Photo by Beatnik Photos, Creative Commons, Flickr (CC by 2.0)

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