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School of Performance THF 101 Library Instruction

This guide is an updated version of the performance instruction guide

Databases and Articles

Learning Objective: Understand why we use articles in research and the benefits of using library databases.

What are “scholarly articles”?

Articles appear in magazines, newspapers, and journals. Scholarly articles appear in journals and they are written by researchers, professors and other experts.


They contain:

  • Expert knowledge

  • Are double checked for accuracy

  • Have good research methods

  • Focus on a specific topic/issue

We recommend researching using articles because they represent the type of research and writing you should be aiming for in your own assignments.

You might also find an article that disagrees with your argument. Incorporating “dissenting” sources into your paper and debating their merit with your other supporting sources is exactly what scholarship is about. Scholarly writing is a conversation and a debate between your ideas and your sources.


 Remember that accuracy and quality of information matters

Picture of Netflix

What are "databases"?

A database is an organized collection of information. Computer databases with web interfaces allow users to easily find the content that they are looking for. Netflix is a database of streaming video; Amazon is a database of consumer goods; subject specific library databases are collections of scholarly articles, ebooks, and more.

Why are databases awesome?

Library databases allow you to search through millions of scholarly and popular articles, making your life easier. They let you:

  • Read full text of articles in PDF or HTML (just look for the “Full Text Link” or the “GET IT” link).

  • Narrow your results to only “peer reviewed”

  • Email the article to yourself

  • Show you how to cite your article in APA (or another citation style you need)

Here’s an example from our ProQuest Database:

 Proquest search points our full text link and cite link

Find articles using Search Everything

1. Find the "Search Everything” search box located on TMU Library’s homepage.

     It searches through the majority of the Library's databases, e-book/book collection, newspapers and more.

2. Type in your keywords and click the Go button.

Search everything box

3. Limit your search to peer-reviewed articles (look on the left side of your screen)

4. Click on the “Full Text” link to read the article.

Example of Search Everything result page

Example of search everything result page points out scholarly link and content link

Find articles using research databases

1. On the Library Homepage, click on the Research Databases tab.

Home page highlights research database tab

2. From the pull down menu choose your subject area.

pull down menu for research database tab pick you subject area

3. You'll get a list of databases (each database contains 1,000s of articles). The "best bets" are the most widely used databases for this subject. On the right of the page, you'll find the subject librarian and some helpful guides.

list of databases under subject area of research tab

Now What?

4. Choose a database and start your search using your keywords. You will have to search more than one database because different databases contain different articles on your topic. 

Use Google Scholar to find articles

Google Scholar

If you love Google, Google Scholar can be an easy way to search for articles. You can use Google Scholar to give you access to TMUs databases. When searching at home, follow these instructions to enable access.

*You can only enable Google Scholar to access TMU databases and articles and you will be asked to log in using your TMU ID."

1. Click on Settings (top right corner)

Where to click on Settings on Google Scholar - top right corner

2. Next click on Library Links (on the left-hand side)


Click on Library Links on left side

3. Type in Toronto Metropolitan University and select Toronto Metropolitan University - Check TMU Libraries and click the Save button


Type in Ryerson and click search


4. Now you have access but you will be asked to log-in with your TMU ID

Databases and Articles Quiz