An important thing to note is the library's catalog does not have the titles of individual articles, only the title of the journal itself. So, in order to search for specific journal articles, Database Finder must be used. It is an electronic resource that allows you to:
The UM Libraries subscribe to over 300 databases, so it is not possible or necessary to know about all of them. Some databases cover a wide range of subject areas and types of sources, while others are more specialized. You will become familiar with several databases as you begin to research in a particular area of interest.
Because of the way that databases are developed, there may be duplication between them, and you may find the same articles from core journals appearing in general and subject-specific database searches.
These broad databases cover an extremely wide spectrum of information that often includes both popular and scholarly sources. Academic Search Complete, which you will search during Library Day, contains information about articles in over 7,000 periodicals, many of which are available in full-text online.
You should begin your research in a general or multidisciplinary database in order to focus your research question and gather background information.
After you know more about your research topic, you may decide to search for articles in a subject-specific database. These databases are indexes to journals in a specific field; the articles in those journals may be highly technical and use very specialized language. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your familiarity with the field of research.
If you are seeking fairly recent information, you may not find articles in subject-specific databases and specialized scholarly journals. It takes time to conduct original research, analyze results, and have an article accepted for publication.
When you do decide to search a subject-specific database, consider the following questions: