ELSO Workshop: Identifying Sources and Organizing Reading Notes: Find Articles Using Databases

Searching Databases

Subject databases identify articles, chapters, essays, and monographs that match your key words.

Databases allow you to  combine words and phrases, add alternate terms and restrict by document type, year, language, etc.

Databases also often provide descriptor terms or subject headings that will help you to broaden or narrow your search.

Search Tips

  • Combine search terms and phrases.
  • Include alternate terms by adding or between the terms, e.g.,death penalty or capital punishment; AIDS or HIV; immigrants or migrants
  • Look through the records to identify additional subject terms (or descriptor terms) that you might use to revise your search.
  • If a full-text link isn't provided, click the Get it! Cornell link to locate the full-text. (See below for more info.)
  • Ask a Librarian if you don't find the full text!



Potential Starting Places for Your Research

The databases below provide potential starting places for finding articles in your area of study.  Your topic may require a different database.  Browse databases by subject or ask a librarian for other starting places.

All Subjects

Web of Science"Science" in the title is a bit misleading. This database has a huge number of references to social sciences and humanities material and includes the ability to track cited references and cited by references.

Google ScholarSet your preferences for Cornell to connect to the full-text or use through the library's website

JSTOR: Large archive of scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and basic sciences from the earliest issues to within a few years of current publication. 

Academic Search Premier: Multidisciplinary database that includes articles from newspaper, magazines, and scholarly journals.

Examples of subject databases: 


Engineering VillageWeb-based information service offering a wide range of resources covering applied science and engineering. Includes Compendex and INSPEC. Compendex contains references and abstracts from some 5,000 engineering journals, conferences and technical reports..


PAIS International: Contains citations to public policy literature of economics, government, law, international business, political science, public administration, and other social sciences. 

Finding the Full-Text of the Article

If you don't find a link to the full text, try the "Get it Cornell" link

If necessary, search the catalog for the journal title (not the article title) -- We may have it in print.

If we don't have the journal, you can place an Interlibrary Loan request.

You will receive an email within 1-3 days with a link to download the article.

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