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Find Sources

1. Choose a Database

Single articles on a topic are found in our library databases.  The UT Libraries pay to have access to these databases and the articles they contain.

You can search in databases that are multidisciplinary or subject-specific.

  • Multidisciplinary databases contain articles on many topics/from many areas of study. A good place to start for a multidisciplinary search is the main search bar on the library homepage which searches lots of databases or Academic Search Complete.
  • Subject Specific databases contain articles from specific disciplines like Medicine, English, or Psychology. See your list of suggested databases below.  

2. Keywords

Searching databases is different than searching in Google. You have to distil what you're looking for into a few key terms or phrases.

  1. Write down your topic and underline the main concepts (ex. Animals in Aztec Life and Culture)
  2. For each main concept, brainstorm a few synonyms and related terms that get at that concept:
    • The first key concept will likely be in common for everyone on this topic, but the second and third will be different, background information can help with determining what to search for. 
    • Key Concepts 

      Animals  Aztec Culture
      Related Terms












  3. Combine key terms using AND and OR:​​
    • AND narrows your search by looking for articles with all of the words (your two or three key concepts should be connected with AND, because you need all of them represented in useful articles). 
    • OR broadens your search by looking for articles with any of the words (synonyms and related terms should be separated by OR - they get at the same key concepts, so any of them are useful).
  4. Try different combinations of your keywords to get better results as you search

3. Recommended Databases



Dissertations and Theses

You can start to search for dissertations and theses in the library search bar (especially those from UT). This database is another option! If you have a specific item you're looking for, but can't find, please use chat or contact your librarian. 

Ask a Librarian

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What are databases?

This video, from RMIT University, explains what a database is...

Where's the Article?

If you don’t see a .pdf of the article you want, click FIND IT AT UT to find it in another database or in print in the Libraries.

If it is only in print in the Libraries or we don’t own the article, click GET A SCAN to have the article emailed to you. This option will take a few days.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.