You’ve been Googling for hours, trying different combinations of search terms, skimming through hundreds of web pages, even going so far as to buy a book on Amazon that sounds like it might have something remotely about your topic. But you sense that you’re missing something from your research. And you are: library databases!
Think of library databases like miniature Googles (not goggles) for specific areas of study. The UT Libraries pays for access to these fancy databases which contain articles from newspapers, magazines, and journals, and more. It’s basically all the stuff that you wouldn’t be able to find for free out there on regular webpages. Since you’re a student at UT, your tuition dollars pay for these articles already — so if you’re asked to pay for something, put your wallet away and don’t pay twice!
So what’st the big deal — why use one? Well, these databases will provide you a one-stop-shop for finding a lot of the research you’ll need for your papers, whether it’s magazine articles, newspaper from the 1800s, or scholarly research. Librarians have carefully cultivated a list of databases that we think will cover many of the areas of research you’re looking for, including tips and tricks on how to use specific databases.
Of course, you can always use Google Scholar to find articles you’ll need, but sometimes using a subject-specific database allows you to get even more specific with the types of information you’re looking for.
Many of the libraries resources are available to you with just a click of a button – but with different database layouts, interfaces, and custom colors, it can be a bit unwieldy to try to find the article you’re looking for. That’s why at UT we have the Find it at UT button.
It’s a gold button that you’ll see each time you log into a database. This button links all of the library’s electronic resources together so that you can easily go from one to another without have to go back to the library’s homepage and start from scratch. If you don’t see a PDF icon or the text of an article listed on the page, look instead for the Find it at UT button.
When clicking the Find it at UT button, expect one of the following to happen:
- You’ll be linked directly to the article in a different database (so expect to see a different interface from the one you were originally browsing in)
- You’ll be brought to a different database that, upon searching the title of the article, will bring you to the article you’re looking for; expect to copy the title of article you’re searching and search within the new database.
- You’ll be told that the UT Libraries doesn’t have electronic access to that journal; expect to check for print within the library’s catalog.
- You’ll be told we don’t have electronic or print access to that article; expect to fill out an InterLibrary Loan request for that item.
And, of course, if you’re really stuck or think we do have online access to something that Find it at UT says we don’t, definitely Ask a Librarian. We’re here to help!