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.