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 email@example.com to ask a quick question, or make an appointment for a longer consultation.
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:
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for help with choosing search terms and getting databases to work well.