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HIS-270 The Historian's Craft

Research guide for the Historian's Craft




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Finding Articles Using the Library Databases

McKillop Library gives you access to several databases that will help you find useful articles for your research.  If you'd like more information on any of these databases, stop by the Information Desk or feel free to contact me through email or in person.

As with books, you want to start searching databases by using keywords (so if your research question was "What impact did the slave trade have on the early development of Rhode Island?," you should try words like "slave trade," "slavery," "triangle trade," "Rhode Island," or even specific Rhode Island towns like Newport). 

Refine Your Search

While searching the databases, keep an eye out for features that will let you isolate more relevant articles from long result lists.  Start out on the advanced search screen to take advantage of special features.  In America: History & Life and Historical Abstracts, you can limit your search to certain historical time periods.  See below for example.

After you have initiated a search query, you can refine your results using the tool bar on the left.  Some typical and useful refining features include narrowing results by publication date, source type, subject term, or geographic region.  The features in this section will often vary by database, so make sure to take a few minutes to explore this section whenever you use a database for the first time. 

Google Scholar

You can also use Google Scholar (one of Google's special tools) to find peer-reviewed, scholarly articles.  

Optimize your use of Google Scholar by linking it to the library.  This allows Google Scholar to also search for the full-text of articles in the library's databases.  See below for instructions of how to do this. 

1. Go to Google Scholar and select the three-line button that is to the left of the logo on the top left of the screen.  Select "Settings."

2. Go to library links, and search for Salve Regina University in the search box.  Make sure to click the box for Salve Regina University and save your settings.

*Note: Google Scholar will not provide you with the same refining feature options that the library databases do.