It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Scholarly databases are created to help you find scholarly journal articles. It's essential to use them when doing research for papers; without them you risk missing important scholarly articles that relate to your topic. Scholarly databases will give you a smaller number of search results than a Google search, and it's easy to limit your results to articles that are peer-reviewed.
You can use Quicksearch to find books, journal articles, archival materials and other items held by Yale. Any book held by the Yale University Libraries can be delivered to a pickup location of your choice (usually within 24 hours). We have created this page to provide assistance with using Quicksearch.
Help is available! Robin Dougherty, the librarian for this course, can help you come up with search terms and strategies. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask a quick question, or make an appointment for a longer consultation.
Choosing Search Terms
Choose search terms that you expect to find in written documents about your topic.
If you're looking for secondary sources (including journal articles or books written by scholars), use the language you would expect to find in a scholarly publication.
If you're looking for sources aimed at the public (newspapers, TV news transcripts, blogs), use more colloquial language when searching.
Here are some other ideas to consider:
Synonyms, technical terms
Transliterations and alternate spellings
Alternate or historical place names (e.g. Bombay / Mumbai)
Initials and full names
Spellings and terms in use during the time period or in the region/country
Abbreviations vs. full words
Once you have found a few sources on your topic, take note of the language that is being used and incorporate it into your search.
Once you've found a book that looks relevant, find the Call Number and note the Location. This stacks guide (.jpg file) will tell you where to find the book in the library.
If the Location is "LSF," the book is in storage--click on the link "Request Recall or Delivery." This initiates a CAS-authenticated session which allows you to request delivery to a pick-up location of your choice.
Narrow Your Search Results Geographically:
Search for a keyword that relates to your topic (e.g. "trafficking").
Click the link for Books+ on the left-hand side of the screen. This will bring you to a set of search results with limits on the left-hand side of the page.
Scroll down and find the Subject (Region) limit, then limit by a region (e.g. Middle East) or a specific country (e.g. Iraq).
Use One Good Book to Find Others:
When you've located a relevant book, these strategies can help you to find additional related works:
Search by the subject headings you find in the book's Quicksearch or Orbis records--this will help you find other books on the same topic, classified with the same subject heading. (view example)
Consult the book's bibliography and use Quicksearch, Orbis, and library databases to track down some of the sources that author cited.
How to Use Subject Headings:
Sample subject headings include:
Petroleum industry and trade > Government policy > Saudi Arabia
Economic development > Political aspects > Saudi Arabia
Bureaucracy > Saudi Arabia
Patron and client > Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia > Economic policy
Saudi Arabia > Politics and government
To search directly for a subject heading:
Click on the last element of the subject-heading string in the book you have displayed in Quicksearch (in Orbis, simply click on the linked subject heading).
More Resources for Finding Scholarly Articles
If you can't find scholarly articles that discuss the topic you're interested in, you can try these other resources to expand your options. Don't hesitate to contact Robin Dougherty (librarian for this course) at email@example.com for help with choosing search terms and getting databases to work well.
The Academic Search Premier database provides access to journal articles in most academic areas of study. It includes full-text coverage of nearly 1,200 journals from 1990 to the present and abstracts/indexing of nearly 3,000 journals from 1984.
This database is the main way to find scholarly articles and book reviews in History. Use Historical Abstracts to identify articles and books that relate to your topic. Covers world history topics from 1450-present, and includes journal articles written between 1953-present.
Offers citations to literature on Islam, the Middle East and Muslim areas of Asia and Africa, and Muslim minorities elsewhere. Includes citations to journal articles, conference proceedings, books, and book reviews from 1906 to present.
Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies, produced by NISC, is a systematic and non-evaluative bibliographic index of research, policy and scholarly discourse on the countries and peoples of the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. This database contains more than 639,000 records and coverage spans from 1900 and earlier to present.
Because of the long time period coverage (1915 to the present), this political science index is valuable for history as well. Provides abstracts of journal articles, books, government documents, statistical compilations, committee reports, intergovernmental, and private organizations reports. Areas covered include political, economic, social and public policy issues.
Provides access to journals published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Disciplines covered are humanities, social sciences, and mathematics. Journal titles linked to Project Muse can also be found in Orbis.