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Search methods & techniques: Select databases & search engines

Select your databases & search engines

The type of information source you use depends on the stage of your literature research. When you are starting to explore a topic you can use all kinds of sources for inspiration; blogs, Wikipedia, newspaper articles, opinion and current affairs magazines, handbooks, encyclopaedias and reference works. sEURch also is very useful for subject searching in the exploratory stage of your literature search.

After you have formulated your research question(s) and decided on appropriate keywords you can start your real search. At this stage you may want to continue using the sEURch interface to search across multiple databases but restrict your search set to those databases that yielded the most relevant results in your preliminary search. To select/deselect databases click Advanced Search under the search box on the front page.

It is important to know that not all databases offered by the University Library are covered by sEURch: some publishers don’t want their journals, books or databases being indexed. Especially the fields of Law and Medicine have insufficient coverage. If sEURch is not giving you the results you expect you may prefer to use the richer indexing of a database dedicated to a specific discipline for the next stage of your literature search. Select the right database with the A-Z list of databasesSelect your subject at All Subjects and if you wish, the specific database type at All Database Types. The result of your selection is a list of databases of a certain database type within a specific discipline (e.g. References works within the Sociology discipline). 

Take notice as well of the Guides per discipline. These guides give you an overview of recommended sources per faculty or discipline, e.g. databases to find literature and background information, e-journals and discipline specific sources.


Database related information:

Related guides: