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Choosing & Using Library Databases: Using Multidisciplinary Databases

Multidisciplinary Databases

It's easy to figure out that Sociological Collection is a good database for your sociology paper, or that you might want to use BioOne for biology. But what about the "multidisciplinary" databases that cover all topics? Here's a quick run-down of the most commonly used titles.

Database

Contents

Pros

Cons

Academic Search Premier
Academic Search Complete
  • mix of academic, popular, and news articles
  • mix of full-text and citation only
  • excellent breadth
  • detailed subject headings
  • good place to start when you're not sure what database to use
  • lack of depth
JSTOR
JSTOR
  • small selection of core academic journals
  • all full-text
  • all journals go back to volume 1
  • tull-text searching available
  • lacks most recent 3-5 years of most journals
  • poor search interface for discovering articles by topic
  • irregular subject coverage: weak in some fields
Project Muse
Project Muse
  • academic journal articles published by university presses
  • strong in the arts, humanities, and social sciences
  • weak in the sciences
ScienceDirect College Edition
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • 950+ full-text journal titles in the health & sciences
  • article abstracts free
  • would need to use interlibrary loan for some articles as they are available only in pay-per-view purchase