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Last Updated: Jul 2, 2015 URL: http://researchguides.library.yorku.ca/general Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Indexes & Databases

Indexes and Databases bring together a number of different online journals and other resources into one search engine. Use these tools to find citations, abstracts and/or full text articles, reports and other resources on your topic. Both scholarly and popular articles may be included.

  • Proquest
    A single search screen that provides access to multiple databases for searching literature in a number of disciplines. It is possible to search across all 50 + Proquest databases or to limit searches to subject areas including business, health and medicine, history, literature and languages, social sciences and more.
  • Scholars Portal Journals
    Almost 9,000 full-text academic journals covering a wide range of academic disciplines. Keyword searching to identify articles on different topics is supported.
  • Web of Science
    Indexes 8,5000 research journals across the Social Sciences, Sciences and Arts & Humanities. Allows you to search for articles by subject, author, journal and author address as well as for articles that cite a known author or work (citation searching). Coverage is from 1945 - present. See our Guide to Using Web of Science
  • JSTOR
    Used by millions for research, teaching, and learning. With more than a thousand academic journals and over 1 million images, letters, and other primary sources, JSTOR is one of the world's most trusted sources for academic content.
  • Google Scholar
    A subset of regular Google, it allows users to search for articles from all disciplines. Content is heavily skewed towards scholarly and scientific information; however, humanities and social science content is present, as is non-scholarly material.
  • Academic OneFile
    Provides access to full-text of more than 4500 scholarly and popular periodicals with indexing for thousands more. Coverage of a wide variety of topics in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences makes it an excellent database for the initial stages of research.
  • Expanded Academic ASAP
    Provides access to the full-text of more than 3,500 periodicals including more than 2,000 scholarly journals. Citations (or abstracts) are provided for an additional 1,500 titles. Coverage of a wide variety of topics in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences makes it an excellent database for the initial stages of research.
  • Readers Guide Abstracts
    Contains indexing and abstracting of many popular general-interest periodicals published in Canada and the United States.
  • Alternative Press Index
    Includes popular and some scholarly material. Emphasis is on alternative, feminist, anti-racist and left periodicals. International and interdisciplinary. 1991 - present.
  • Francis
    Provides indexing and abstracts of scholarly articles covering humanities and social science topics from an international perspective. Multi-lingual.

Canadian Indexes & Databases

  • CBCA Complete  Icon
    General database that covers Canadian topics and Canadian publications.
  • Canadian Periodical Index  Icon
    Includes Canadian and international academic journals, magazines, and newspapers in both English and French. All subjects are represented, with an emphasis on Canadian and international issues. Many articles are full text. Coverage is from 1988 - present.

French-language Indexes & Databases

Use these indexes and databases to find journal articles in French.  Both scholaraly and popular articles may be included.

  • Cairn
    Provides a comprehensive collection of French language periodicals in the social sciences and humanities. This database represents a broad collaboration between several European publishing houses (Belin, De Boeck, La Découverte and Erès).
  • Erudit
    This resource is intended to serve as an innovative means of promoting and disseminating the results of university research. The collection covers a wide range of disciplines in the human, social and natural sciences. This resource welcomes any academic journal regardless of its publisher and country of origin. It is also the site of dissemination of Quebec journals supported by the Fonds quebecois de recherche sur la societe et la culture (Quebec fund for research on society and culture).
  • Francis
    La base de données FRANCIS est une base de données bibliographique contenant plus d'un million de notices, couvrant les sciences humaines et sociales à l'échelle internationale. Les sujets ou bases de données qui la compose comprennent notamment : l'archéologie, la géographie, la linguistique, la philosophie, la religion et la sociologie. Les citations comprennent des articles de périodiques, des comptes rendus de congrès, des ouvrages, des rapports et des thèses de doctorat.
  • Repère
    380 000 références d'articles de périodiques de langue française (1980- )avec le texte intégral de 18 000 articles et les adresses de 6 000 articles en texte intégral sur Internet. Répertoire général, comprend la linguistique et la langue française.
 

Search Tips

When searching online, various words are used to help broaden or narrow your search.  Here are a few tips you should know before searching any academic database:

Boolean operators: Most internet and electronic databases follow the rules of boolean logic.  Boolean logic refers to the relationships (connections or differences) between different search terms.  The most common boolean operators are:

AND - used to narrow a search and establish more relevant results by linking keywords together (e.g. "behavioural" and "psychology").

OR - broadens a search and get more results. Typically used for synonyms and words with variant spellings (e.g. "self-actualization" and "self-identity").

NOT - use to narrow a search and get more relevant results (e.g. "behaviouralism" not "humanism").

Truncation: used to find similar words with different endings

e.g. human* searches "human and humans"

e.g. educat* searches "education", "educate", "educational" etc 

asterisk (*)  searches for various different endings of a word in most databases (including York University), however LexisNexis uses an exlamation mark (!).

 

Other Tips

Advanced Search - this option is available on most databases, and allows you to specialize your search based on documents (books, articles, video etc), date, geographic location, language, etc.

Quotation Marks - using quotation marks will allow you to search for exact phrases.  For example, searching "mental impairment" will only retreive searches with both "mental" and "impairment" together in that order.

Refine Search - many online databases allow you to specify your search criteria after selecting your keywords and clicking on search.

Finding a Specific Journal - if you know the name of the journal you are looking for, type it in the library catalogue, then select "Periodical Title", then hit "go".

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