Library:How to Find Articles/On a topic/Specific Search

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Specific Search (Databases)

Searching one database at a time can be more time consuming but is also more precise and comprehensive. Some of the advantages of searching within databases include:

  • Databases usually only include content from a specific discipline (E.G. Psychology, Medicine) so you're less likely to get irrelevant results.
  • Databases usually let you search by more specific characteristics, such as journal name, age/sex/gender of subject, research methodology, geographical location of research subjects, etc.
  • The ability to do complex searches

Choosing a Database

To find a database in your subject area, search the Indexes & Databases portal or look at the Research Guide for your discipline or topic. Research guides are written by subject librarians to bring together the best sources on a subject in one place.

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To find the Research Guides go to the UBC Library homepage, choose Get Research Help. In the drop down list, select Research Guides.

Enter the general term for your subject, e.g. physics. You may retrieve more than one guide: choose the guide that seems best for your research, e.g. Engineering Physics

Once inside the research guide, look for a tab labeled Articles or Indexes and Databases or Getting Started. This will provide you with a list of databases you can search for subject specific articles.

To learn more about database searching, go to the Searching in Databases guide.