J. Eugene Smith Library subscribes to over 100 databases for students, faculty, and staff. These databases each contain a unique collection of relevant and reliable articles and materials to help with research needs. Choose a database from our database listing off of the library homepage. Find it on the A-Z listing or by subject area. Notice "About" on the databases A - Z listing for detailed information about each database.
The following introduction about using the library’s research databases is just a first step. The librarians at the Reference Desk (2nd floor), the Curriculum Center (1st floor) and the Archives/Special Collections (4th floor) are ready to provide in-depth, expert assistance with all aspects of research at Smith Library. Visit or call - we’re here to help you.
Note: If you are linking to the databases off-campus,
you will see a login box to enter your username and password and be sure to choose Eastern.
Example of a Database Search to find articles for a research paper
Question: Does violence in the media really affect teenagers?
After obtaining background information on your subject, decide which database(s) hold articles that are relevant to your needs. Select a subject area from the databases by subject or look at the A - Z list of databases. Read "About" to find out what each database holds and the dates of coverage.
One popular general database with many full-text articles is “Academic Search Premier.”
Type in relevant keywords (See below). Full questions and phrases do not work well in the databases.
Begin with only one or two keywords and then narrow results by adding more as needed. The database will pull up articles that contain ALL of the keywords within EVERY single result so keep it simple. Also try other words that mean the same. For instance, try the word adolescent in place of teen. The database will be looking for the specific term(s) that you type in the search box within various parts of the article. Click "Search" to begin.
There is an option to refine the search to only include "Full Text" or "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed)" Journals. (See red arrows above)
Each database has its own searching strategies.
Select the "Help" link in the upper, right corner of the database for help.
The screen capture below displays the results of the above search (teens violence television). Results are automatically sorted by most relevant to the search terms that are entered. This can be changed to sort by date so that the most recent are at the top of the list, if desired. Also note another opportunity to choose Scholarly (Peer Reviewed), Full text, or sort by date to the left of the screen.
To view a summary of an article simply mouse over the magnifying glass at the end of the article title or click on the title. Full text may be available by PDF Full Text, HTML Full Text, or "360 LINK" for more information. PDF is preferred because it is an actual image of the article but HTML is also good if it is the only option. Choose the "360 LINK" to help you link to the full text if you do not see PDF or HTML. Ask a Reference Librarian for assistance if needed.
There are several options for exporting the article(s) – print, email to yourself, or save in a file or on a USB device like a “thumb drive." You can also "Add to folder" which will start a collection of selected results. This is only available during the session while logged on. Once logging off from the database, the folder selections will be erased. To save articles in a database folder for future reference, many databases have an option to sign in with your own user name and password. Contact a Reference Librarian for help in creating a personal folder within database.
Also note the "Cite" feature in the database screenshot above. This offers several formats for citing your article.
Be sure to note all of the information needed to cite your article(s) and other materials.
Title, Author, Source (Journal Name, Issue, Volume, Date, Pages) and also make note of the database that was used, Academic Search Premier in this case.
For help with citation styles (MLA, APA, ASA, Chicago Manual, Harvard) and Citing Electronic Sources, please see: Citing Your Sources and Citation Guides
For help with avoiding plagiarism and giving credit to the sources that are used please see: Plagiarism Resources: A Guide for ECSU Students
If you are having trouble using a Library Database, come to or call the Reference Desk at 465-4699 for help.
Winter 2012, CR