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Where do I go to search the literature? AKA alternatives to Google
ERIC is the most comprehensive search of the education literature. It is a database of scholarly articles, reports from schools and other educational agencies, as well as teaching materials. You can limit your search in a variety of ways including by type of article, date, etc.
Education Full Text
Compliment to the ERIC database. It has a smaller set of literature but does contain some things that ERIC does not.
Educational Administration Abstracts
Good place to go for articles on educational leadership.
Good place to start for articles on personnel management, organizational behavior, and similar topics.
Business Source Premier
Similar to ABI Inform, but has a slightly different set of journals.
Best place to look for psychological literature
UofL Libraries Catalog
To look for both books and articles on your topic.
How do I search these databases?
- Brainstorm keywords for your topic.
For example, if your research question was "How do extracurricular activities affect the academic performance of first generation college students?", your keywords might be
- academic performance
- first generation college students
- Choose the best database. The above example would fit best in the education literature.
- Type the keywords into the search boxes in the database you have chosen.
What is a literature review?
A literature review means looking through the scholarly, peer-reviewed literature on your topic to find what others have written about it. This is different than just doing a general search of the open Web (via Google for example). The scholarly literature is written by people who are experts in their field, often describes or reports on research that those experts have done, and then has been reviewed by other experts in the same field before being published.
There are specific search engines or databases that you need to use to find this literature. It is often not available through a search of the open web.
How do I get my hands on the article or book?
Often, the article that you need will have the PDF available. If not, click on the Find it at UofL button.
There will then be 2 choices:
- A link to the full-text (PDF) in another location.
- An option to use the library's Interlibrary Loan service.