The fourth step of the research process is characterized by locating information. You've defined your research question, gotten the background info you need, and you've learned some search techniques. Now you are ready to look for article titles, journals, authors, book chapters and other details to help you answer your research question. You may start to keep track of where and how you're searching in order to be strategic so that you don't end up repeating your searches in the same places or using keywords that are ineffective. This step of the research process allows you to follow your curiosity and gather a variety of perspectives to help inform your research.
Databases are subscription-bases resources that University Libraries makes available to you. They typically include articles from journals related to a specific academic discipline or your major area of study. Each database looks different, but they often work in similar ways. Please review the information above in the "Searching Techniques" box to learn how to use these resources. You can also look for a help menu or "About" page within each database, or contact your Subject Librarian.
Note: Databases often contain the full text of articles, but sometimes only show you a citation to things. Use the Find it at CU link to locate the full text in another subscription database or request the article at no cost to you through Interlibrary Loan.
Use the databases below to search for news and current events.
Below are some sources for online data. They are only a few. There are many more that exist, but can be hard to find. Some countries (see my list below) have an office responsible for collecting and publishing statistics. Do some online searching related to your country of interest to see if you can find additional sources.
This graphic explains the process for using "Find it at CU," available in most databases and Google Scholar, to locate the full text of an article.
Use Prospector to request physical materials from other Colorado libraries at no cost to you! Prospector is generally the quickest way (3-5 business days) to get materials not available at CU-Boulder.
Use Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) to request electronic materials from other libraries. You can also request physical materials like books that are not available at CU or in Colorado through Prospector.
Where you search for books is not always the same as where you search for articles. Information can be found in many places using many different search tools like online search engines, library subscription databases, or library catalogs. How do you choose which search tool to use?
Use the link below to find suggestions based on your major or area of interest, or by type of information:
When searching open web or internet resources, be sure to use Boolean-style searching when appropriate. Google and Google Scholar have advanced search operators and field searching. Many of the open-access ( or OA) databases listed here have advanced search screens and help menus to assist you.
OneSearch is the main search box you'll find on the library home page. It searches our library catalog, Chinook, plus a whole bunch of other great resources including article databases. If you know you need a book or journal, or to find out if we have a subscription, you can just use Chinook Classic.
Chinook has its own tips and search techniques. Check out the link below to learn how to use it like a pro!