AMER STD 191: American Studies Thesis

Article Databases

Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic.  The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.

1.  Think about which academic disciplines might write about your topic.  Examples:  literature, film, anthropology, history...

2.  Find the appropriate article database by subject (academic discipline or department).  Look for "Recommended" databases.

Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject

Searching Article Databases

Sample searches in CSA Illumina Social Science databases:

Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject > Sociology > Sociology Abstracts:  click on the CSA Illumina Social Sciences link to search multiple social science databases

1.  Example of searches using keywords and truncation

media  (keywords)
polygam* (keywords)

keywords = searches most important parts of the record

* = truncation symbol or wildcard;  child* = child, childs, children, childish, childhood

2.  Example of a search using  phrase searching, alternative terms:

 latino*  or mexican american*   or hispanic*    (keywords)
 advertis*    (keywords)
 health*   (keywords)

another example:

athlet*    (keywords)
fallen      (keywords)

look for other useful terms, try again:

athlet*   (keywords)
scandal*   or    disgrace* or  comeback*  (keywords)

3.  use an official subject term ("descriptor")

african american* or black* (keywords)
single parent* or single mother* or single father* (keywords)

african american* or black* (descriptor)
single parent* or single mother* or single father* (keywords)

4.  to find more results, especially when the topic is too new for academic journal articles:  broaden your terms

sb 1070 (keywords)

broaden your terms:

arizona (keywords)
immigra*   (keywords)

5.  To find more items, take out terms:

gun cultur*   (keywords)
masculin*    (keywords)

gun    (keywords)
masculin*    (keywords)

Sample searches in Academic Search Complete

Library home > Articles > General Article Databases > Academic Search Complete

corporate cultur* (select a field )
athlet* or sports* (select a field))

Search Results

  • click on the title to see full record (including abstracts and descriptors)
  • to limit by publication type (peer-reviewed journals, conferences, books, etc.) click on the appropriate tab or link
  • if necessary,look for other limits (latest update, journal articles only, english only) and more advanced searches
  • select records to save to your personalized list; lists may be e-mailed, downloaded, printed

UC-eLinks - Find Article Text/Location

Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use UC-eLinks orange logo to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database is a bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the Uc-eLinks icon click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:

UC e-Links image

For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.

About JSTOR!

Library home > Articles > General Article Databases > JSTOR

Everyone Loves JSTOR:

  • interdisciplinary
  • scholarly
  • full text available AND searchable - you may find topics you won't find elsewhere because they're only part of an article on a related topic
  • covers journals from their earliest publication dates


  • DOES NOT INCLUDE THE LAST 3-5 YEARS of a journal!  not good for contemporary topics!
  • doesn't include as many journals in a particular discipline as the discipline-specific database (example: MLA Bibliography for literature)
Last Update: January 23, 2013 10:13