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REL197 Thinking About Religion FYS: Databases

A guide for Prof. Jinyu Liu's First Year Seminar

What are Databases?

Databases are research tools that help you find articles in journals, magazines, or newspapers, or other information sources like books, book reviews, videos, and maps.

Some focus on a kind of source (like newspaper articles); most of DePauw's library of databases focus on scholarly research in a specific academic field.

Keyword Tips

Keywords are the words you will use to search electronic catalogs, databases and the Internet. You can miss lots of useful information if you don't use keywords effectively, because computers will only search on the terms you provide. 

You should think about:

  • synonyms (e.g. mobile telephones, cell phones)
  • plural/singular forms (e.g. women, woman)
  • spelling variations (e.g. globalisation, globalization)
  • variations of a root word (e.g. feminism, feminist, feminine)
  • acronyms (e.g. non-governmental organisation, NGO)
  • regional & historic variations (e.g. Native American or Indian)
  • broader and narrower terms (e.g. drugs - cannabis, heroin, cocaine)
  • words which go out of everyday use, especially if searching for sources in history e.g. pauperism rather than poor

When you start searching note any useful alternative words that occur during your searches and add them to your keyword list.

from URL: 

One Perfect Source

Useful Databases for Classical Studies

Access and Outreach Services Librarian

Different Types of Sources