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Research Databases

Not sure where to start?

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What is a research database?
Research databases are search engines that lead you to information like scholarly journal articles, reports, images, books, dissertations, and more. When you are looking for information for your academic work, a research database is usually the best place to start.

How do I find the right database?
Look through the subject list on the Research Databases page and choose the subject related to your topic. When you click on a subject, you’ll see a list of recommended databases with the Best Bets listed first.

You can also:

  • look through an alphabetical list of databases (the library subscribes to over 250 of them!);
  • view databases by type (images, audio files, statistics, etc.); or
  • Ask a Librarian for advice about the best place to start your search.

I’m still lost!
If you’re still not sure where to start, try one of the following all-purpose academic databases, or Ask a Librarian.

Academic Search Premier
A good starting point: articles from key journals in many scholarly disciplines, with some trade journals and magazines, 1975-present.
Google Scholar
A search engine for locating scholarly material on the internet. Use within UMass’ IP range to access UMass online journal subscriptions.
Academic OneFile
A large, interdisciplinary collection of scholarly, professional and trade journal articles, 1980-present.
Web of Science
Provides a search by cited reference, topic, author, and more for articles in almost all important English-language journals. Arts and Humanities covers 1975-present; Social Sciences 1956-present; and Science 1900-present.

Now what?

Once you’ve identified some appropriate sources in our databases, you must locate them – either online, in the library’s stacks, or by requesting them from another library.


Ask a Librarian

Librarians are ready and eager to work with you to find the right databases, keywords, and sources for your information needs. You can work with a librarian:

in person
via email
via IM
or over the phone.

See our Ask a Librarian page for contact information and hours of availability.

If a librarian is available to chat, you can type your question directly into the box below to start a chat session: