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Basic Research Guide: Finding

English 1000

What is a Database?

A database is an online index to magazine and journal articles, book chapters, etc. Databases often provide access to full-text of articles.

Why Use a Database?

You use a database to save yourself time and effort!  A database scans thousands of journal and magazine issues to find articles that match your topic, so you don't have to look at individual pages and issues .  It shows exactly which issue has the article(s) on your topic. 

Finding the Right Database

The easiest way to select the best database is to use the a list of our databases (once you follow this link, click the tab for Databases by Subject.  On the Subject databases page choose your subject area and click and you will get a list of databases that cover your subject.

Discover@MU is a multidisciplinary database tool that will have both popular and scholarly articles (as well as books) and are good places to start your research:

The following multidisciplinary database has only scholarly articles:

The following specialized databases have only scholarly articles:


Search for articles, books, & more!
Limit Your Results
Limit by Discipline


Use a database to find article information on your topic. After retrieving article citations, use Findit@MU to determine whether the article(s) is available fulltext online or in print.  Use Interlibrary Loan to obtain copies of articles from other libraries.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature across many disciplines.

Google Scholar Search

Video: Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

Video: Find a Peer-Review Article

Find Full-Text of an Article

If you don't see a link to the PDF of an article, click on the Find It @MU icon  FindIt@MU to find full-text.  Check out our FindIt@MU guide for detailed instructions.

Already Have the Citation?

If you have an article citation, use the Find a Specific Article link to access the full-text of the article.