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Library Research Skills Tutorial

Module 4: Finding Sources

  1. What are Articles and Databasesbook stacks in the library
  2. How to Find Articles with Search Everything
  3. How to Find Articles with Subject Databases
  4. How to Find Books
  5. Module 4 Quiz

Estimate Time: 15 minutes

What are Articles and Databases?

What are “articles”?


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


Scholarly articles:

  • Contain expert knowledge

  • Are double checked for accuracy

  • Have good research methods

  • Focus on a specific topic/issue

We recommend using scholarly articles when researching 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


Example of an Article

example of first page of article


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.


Database Hierarchy is similar to Netflix hierarchy - explanation below in a word document

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

How to Find Articles with Search Everything

Search Everything:

  • Located on the Library's homepage

  • Discovery search box (like Google for Libraries). Searches across our collections of article databases, books, and ebooks etc.,  

  • Use it to find:  books, ebooks, scholarly articles, newspaper, magazines.


Using Search Everything (Video)



1. Search using keywords (or the title/author if you know it)

Search everything search box


2. Refine using filters on the left of the result page.

  1. Content type (book, journal article, newspaper etc.,)  

  2. Scholarly & peer reviewed, publication date, discipline etc.,​​


3. Get your sources.

  1. Online Items Only link is for articles and ebooks

    1. Link will bring you to another page with the full text of the article or ebook.

  2. Save or Cite your results using the icons on the right side of your source.  


Aspects of the result page - limit on the left and click on Full Text online to read your articles


Try It: 

1. Go to the Library Home Page.

2. Search using the keywords: "Student Motivation" AND "Online Learning"

3. Limit your results to peer reviewed 

4. Pick one of your results and click on "Full Text Online" and locate the PDF of the article, 

5. Go back to your results page and click the email icon to email the article to yourself. 

How to Find Articles with Subject Databases

Subject Databases:

  • The Library subscribes to various databases that contain collections of scholarly articles, newspapers, magazines, reports, videos,etc.

  • Use to find: scholarly & peer reviewed articles, newspapers, magazines, corporate reports, trade magazines, online videos and images.

Directions (Locating Databases): 


1. Locate the Research Databases tab on the Library’s homepage


Highlight of the database tab on the library's home page



2. Pick your subject area or “multi-disciplinary” etc., 

list of subject areas for database tab


3. Choose from a list of databases in your subject area. 

*You will have to search more than one database – different databases contain different articles on your topic

example of database list for Aboriginal studies


Directions For Searching within Subject Databases

  1. Search using keywords

  2. Use the menu options to refine your results*

    1. Peer Reviewed, date range, etc.,

  3. Use the save or cite options*

*Because each database is owned by a different company, the location of the refine options and save / cite options are in different locations on the result page for each database.


Example of a results list from an EBSCO database (America: History & Life)

example of how to refine your results in an EBSCO database


Example of a results list from a PROQUEST database (Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database)

Example of Proquest Database result list

Try It: 

1. Go to the Library website 

2. Click on Database tab

3. Pick a subject area you are currently studying

4. Chose a database under that subject area

5. Search using keywords related to the area you are studying

6. Limit your results to peer reviewed in the database

7. Pick one of your results and click on "Full Text Online" and locate the PDF of the article

8. Locate the email icon in the database to email the article to yourself

How to Find Books

You can search for books using Search Everything or the "Books" tab on the Library's home page.


Using Search Everything:

1. Search using keywords  (or the title if you know it)

Search Everything search box

2. Next refine using filters on the left of the result page.

  1. Content type (Book/eBook)

use the left-side menu to limit by book


Using the Book Tab:

  • This tab searches our book and ebook collection       


  1. Locate the book tab on the Library’s homepage

  2. Enter your keywords (or author/title if you know it)

  3. Choose from a list of results


Getting your Books:

  • eBooks will have a link called Full Text Online 
  • The link will bring you to another page with the full text of the ebook.
  • For physical books - look for the status and location (call number)
  • Status will be either Available or Due (plus the date it is due back)

Example of eBook and physical books:example of record for both ebook and physical book






Module 4: Quiz