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Linguistics: Multi-database search

Take note

Especially recommended for graduate students:


The Oxford Guide to Library Research

by Thomas Mann


Sterling Library (both in reference and in the stacks),

Z710 .M23X 2005

Multi-database search

If you are just starting your research, for example on a certain topic, do a multi-database search first.  It will give you an overview of the existing publications and some bibliographic references.


You can do it from the library's home page -- you go to the Databases and Article Searching page.  Then click on the link for Multi-Database Search (near the top of the page). Or you can use the following link:


Multi-database search

  • Academic Search Premier Academic Search Premier is a scholarly, multi-disciplinary full text database for many journals with indexing and abstracts for many more journals in the collection. Nearly every area of academic study is included: computer science, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more. Images are also included in this collection. 
    PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles. The majority of full text titles are available in native (searchable) PDF, or scanned-in-color.
  • Book Review Digest Plus (H.W. Wilson)  Book Review Digest Plus is an essential library tool that brings together book reviews on a wide range of topics, from a variety of sources.

    Unlike reviews on book-sale sites and the open Internet, many of the reviews are serious, academic works. This invaluable resource for literary and biographical research is essential for readers’ advisory and collection development.
  • ebrary Ebrary is a collection of thousands of online full text books in a variety of subject areas. Full text content can be viewed and searched online and printed without charge after installing the ebrary Reader. You can also bookmark sections of the book, copy and paste text, and save sections for later reading if you have a free Ebrary account. Ebrary contains books from many academic and trade publishers in every subject. 

    System Requirements: 
    Ebrary Reader needed to view text. This free software works with your web browser to allow browsing, search, and other advanced features. The reader is available from the ebrary site for Macintosh or Windows workstations. The site will automatically detect your operating system and only offer the Ebrary Reader version relevant to your viewing workstation's operating system.

    If you have a new Macintosh with an Intel Processor, please follow these steps until Ebrary programs a universal plug in (older Macs and PCs should work with the Ebrary Reader by itself):

    1. Duplicate the Safari App., Name it Safari-PowerPC 
    2. Get info on it 
    3. Check the "Launch as PowerPC application"
    Install the ebraryReader, Double-click Safari-PowerPC and all is back to

    You could also run a PowerPC version of FireFox.
  • General Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson) General Science Full Text, designed for students and non-specialists, is easy to use and the first place to look for answers to science-related questions. 
  • Humanities Full Text (H.W. Wilson) Humanities Full Text provides full text of the most important scholarly sources in the humanities. The database indexes, abstracts and delivers the full text of feature articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, original works of fiction, drama, poetry and book reviews, as well as reviews of ballets, dance programs, motion pictures, musicals, operas, plays, radio and television programs, and more.
  • JSTOR JSTOR is a project of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for development of a digital library in support of the arts and sciences on the World Wide Web. It will eventually consist of over one hundred journal titles in the areas of anthropology, asian studies, ecology, economics, education, finance, history, mathematics, philosophy, political science, population studies, and sociology and will already contains over two million journal page images. These journals are fully searchable. More information can be found at the About JSTOR site.  
  • Orbis Orbis is the principal online public access catalog (OPAC) for Yale University. 

    Orbis contains records for over 10 million items located in 22 libraries on the Yale campus and at the Library Shelving Facility. (See Libraries & Collections A - Z for a complete list of Yale libraries and collections.) The catalog provides information about the University's current holdings as well as library materials that are no longer held. Included are records for: 

    * books 
    * serials (journals, magazines, newspapers) 
    * electronic resources 
    * government documents 
    * maps 
    * microform collections 
    * printed music 
    * sound recordings 
    * visual materials 
    * working papers 
    * government documents (U.S., Canadian, European Union, United Nations) 
    * manuscripts and archival materials 
    * rare books
  • ProQuest Environmental Science Collection The collection contains environmental science related full-text articles, granular access to figures and tables within articles, environmental impact statements, and the entire range of bibliographic records from Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management (ESPM). ESPM provides unparalleled and comprehensive coverage of the environmental sciences drawn from over 10,000 serials including scientific journals, conference proceedings, reports, monographs, books and government publications.
  • Social Sciences Full Text (H.W. Wilson)  Social Sciences Full Text provides fast access to a wide assortment of the most important English-language journals published in the U.S. and elsewhere with full text and page images from scores of key publications, plus abstracting and indexing of hundreds of others. An in-demand resource for a wide variety of users from students to social workers, Social Sciences Full Text covers the latest concepts, trends, opinions, theories, and methods from both applied and theoretical aspects of the social sciences.
  • Web of Science - Cross Search (ISI Ver.3.0)  CrossSearch is a tool that allows you to search across multiple ISI's Web of Science products.
  • IBZ Online (De Gruyter) The IBZ is an "international bibliography of periodical literature covering all fields of knowledge." It indexes periodical articles in all subject areas from around the world in German, French and English. Coverage of the printed volumes, including earlier titles, goes back to 1896.* The print volumes are divided into three parts after 1971: A. Verzeichnis der berücksichtigen Zeitschriften; B. Verzeichnis der Zeitschriftenartikel nach Schlagworten; C. Verzeichnis der Zeitschriftenartikel nach Verfasser. 
    * IBZ Abteilung A: Bibliographie der deutschen Zeitschriften literatur mit Einschuss von Sammelwerken. Bd. 1-128; 1896-1964. SML, Starr Main Reference Room, Index Case AI9 +B53 (LC). * IBZ Abteilung B: Bibliographie der Fremdsprachigen Zeitschriftenliteratur. Bd. 1-22; 1911--1921-25; n.F., Bd. 1-51, 1925--1962-64. SML, Starr Main Reference Room, Index Case AI9 +B535 (LC) 

    Other Versions: 
    Internationale Bibliographie der geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Zeitschriftenliteratur = International bibliography of periodical literature on the humanities and social sciences : IBZ. SML, Starr Main Reference Room, Index Case AI9 I58 (LC) Jahrg.35:pars 2(1999)- current 
    Internationale Bibliographie der Zeitschriftenliteratur aus allen Gebieten des Wissens. International bibliography of periodical literature covering all fields of knowledge AI9 I58 (LC) SML, Starr Main Reference Room, Index Case -1896/1974 
    SML, Starr Main Reference Room, Index Case AI9 I58 (LC Jahrg.1(1965)-Jahrg.35:pars 1(1999)


Along the left there's a column with some options.  Under Subject, choose Lang/Lit, then All


As you can see, it can be very handy since you can speed up your research process by searching several databases simultaneously.  The Multi-Database Search feature covers 14 resources in total (such as: Orbis, Worldcat, MLA Bibliography, Academic search Premier, Francis, etc.).  You can exclude databases if you like. However, there are a few caveats:


  • There are additional literature-related databases which the Multi-Database Search system can not include, for example: Humanities Abstracts Full Text;
  • Multi-Database Search only does basic keyword searches and lacks the advanced features that you'll find if you use the database's own interface; and
  • Multi-Database Search has only a limited ability to remove duplicate records, so you will probably find yourself having to page through citations that you've already seen.

In short, this is a quick search tool, but you must be aware of its limits: it will give you a good recall but with very low precision.