To identify databases focusing on other subject areas, check our Research Guides page.
Library databases often include scholarly journals, which are particularly important to college-level research.
Many databases have an option to limit your results to peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.
Some databases can also include magazine & newspaper articles. Although not scholarly, these articles can provide current news and windows to societal attitudes.
For more databases specializing in newspapers, check our Newspaper Guide.
Want to see if Colby has a subscription to a particular magazine or journal? On the Colby Libraries home page click on the "Journals and Articles" tab.
Once the orange bar has moved down, enter the publication's name in the search box.
Note that Colby also has arrangements with the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that enable Colby students to have their own FREE digital subscriptions to those publications. Sign up HERE.
Find an item of interest using a keyword search? Look at its item record to identify Subject Terms. These links group material together by topic which can yield more precise results. Sample subject headings:
Note that searching a broad subject in CBBcat can lead to a further list of sub-divisions. These can be helpful in focusing your research.
Check the notes, references and bibliographies of every relevant article or book. You may discover more books and articles of interest.
Photo: The Look, Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Don't use Google to find scholarly material - Use library databases or the library catalog. However, Google, used carefully, can work wonderfully in discovering contemporary writing, alternative voices, the work of community organizations, and digital collections at archives, museums and academic institutions.
Search precisely - Beware of common words or words that have multiple meanings. Specify as much as possible, but also explore alternative phrasing. Start with small, focused searches. Use the names of known, trusted people to get recommendations of reliable online sites and publications. (Check newspaper databases for controversies.) Add terms that focus on the type of material desired. Examples: "digital collections", zine, "literary journal", "literary magazine", "oral histories"
Use "Advanced Search" - On your Google search results page, click on Settings. Use supplied fields to carefully map term choices, specifying exact terms required. The "Site or Domain" field can be useful in limiting your results to government information (.gov) or items created at educational institutions (.edu).
Evaluate Extremely Carefully! - Do separate searches of source creators, authors and publications. Every source you interact with is a conversation. With whom are you talking? What are their values and motivations? Are they getting their information from reliable sources and interpreting evidence fairly and intelligently? Who is the intended audience?
Know the Limitations of Web Searching - Most scholarly articles are either not found by search engines or are behind paywalls. Information is sorted and ranked according to commercial/consumer/popular considerations. Information is not vetted for accuracy or reliability.
SEARCH our library catalog
Books in Miller, Olin or Bixler Library? Ask for directions at a library Service Desk.
Books at the Colby Storage Facility, Bates or Bowdoin? To order click
You will be notified by email when your request is available to pickup at the Miller Service Desk.
Not finding what you want in CBBcat?
Look on the CBBcat search result page for a link to MaineCat, which expands your search to other Maine libraries.
Not sure if a book is scholarly? Check with your professor or a librarian.
Books photo by Julochka (2014). Creative Commons license 2.0.