Step 1 – Identifying key terms
Step 2 – Identifying what information is needed and where it is located
Step 3 – Creating and refining your search
Databases are organized and searchable collections of information such as articles, newspapers, reviews, and datasets. Databases can be subject specific or multidisciplinary.
To identify the top databases recommended for your discipline by Waterloo librarians, consult the Library's Research guides.
Note that some databases are indexes. Indexes are a special type of database that contain only data about the article, not the article itself. You will usually be able to find the full-text version from another source. Most databases will have a Get full text or Get It @ Waterloo link which will take you to the Library catalogue, Omni, to identify that source.
Journals and articles can vary in quality. See the Evaluating sources section for information on how to judge the quality of a source.
There are a variety of databases for finding and accessing journal articles which could be helpful for your assignment.
Two options to start with are Scopus and the Library catalogue, Omni.
Scopus contains almost exclusively sources which are academic/scholarly and/or peer-reviewed. Therefore, much of the evaluation work regarding accuracy and authority is already done. However, you will still need to think about relevancy, date, and reason for writing.
If searching Omni, you will need to carefully consider the source as it contains articles from many different types of resources, including newspapers, magazines, trade journals, government documents, and more. Note that there is a peer-reviewed option available from the Results page. Below is a search box for Omni and a link to the Advanced search, which allows you to specify the type of resource (books, articles, etc.) and to use the search techniques mentioned above more easily.