General Article Databases
Now that you know the types of articles you need, you can choose a database, also known as a periodical index, to find them. Databases are collections of thousands of articles organized by subject. The Libraries have hundreds of databases covering every academic discipline. Some are multi-disciplinary, covering a broad range of subjects and including popular and scholarly sources, and others are subject-specific, and include scholarly and specialized articles. A complete list is available at Find Articles.
The following multi-disciplinary databases are good places to start your research:
Academic Search Complete
A multidisciplinary index to articles in more than 10,900 journals and other publications in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese; full-text is available for over 5300 journals.
Lists journal articles, books, preprints, and technical reports in many subject areas (though more specialized article databases may cover any given field more completely). Some listings include links to related articles and to other sources that cite the item. Includes content from free resources (such as ArXiv.org and university websites) as well as subscription resources (such as electronic journals from selected publishers). Use the UC-eLinks option, when available, to find the UCB access to a publication.
Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available.
America History & Life
- Enter terms related to your topic in the search boxes. If you want to specify where in the record your term(s) should be searched, you can select a search field from the optional Select a Field drop-down list. Select a Boolean operator (AND, OR, NOT) to combine search boxes. AND is the default.
- Boolean/Phrase searching is the default type of search and is recommended.
- Choosing the option “linked full text” will only retrieve results that include links to the full text that reside within this database. This is NOT RECOMMENDED, since it doesn’t include the links to full text we provide through UC e-Links and will greatly limit the number of results you retrieve.
- Some scholarly materials are not peer reviewed so unless you are limiting your search to articles, you might avoid checking this box.
- This database lists content published since 1964, but you are able to limit your results to works published during certain years.
- A unique feature of this database is that it also allows you to limit your search results to works about a particular period of time.
- In addition to articles published in journals, the database includes listings for books, conference papers, disserations, and other scholarly materials.
- You also have the ability to limit your search to a particular type of work, such as book reviews or dissertations.
- Much of the content in the database is from English-language publications, but other languages are represented. The language limiter allows you to limit your results to just the languages you can read.
When accommodating variations in spelling, you can use wildcard characters represented by question mark ? or a pound sign #.
Use ? to replace a single character. Example: ne?t to find all citations containing neat, nest or next.
Use # when an alternate spelling may contain an extra character. Example: colo#r to find all citations containing color or colour.
Use the truncation symbol * (asterisk) to look for variant endings of a word. Example: comput* to find the words computer or computing.
Use “quotation marks” to search for an exact phrase.
You can also view a tutorial on Advanced Search in America: History and Life.
America: History and Life
Includes bibliographic citations and abstracts on all aspects of U.S. and Canadian history, culture, and current affairs from prehistoric times to the present. The database provides strong English-language journal coverage balanced by an international perspective on various topics and events. It contains abstracts and citations to journal articles, book/media reviews, and dissertations. The database includes scholarly literature published since 1964.
UC-eLinks - Find Article Text/Location
Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database is a bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the Uc-eLinks icon click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:
For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.
Searching Library Catalogs
Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own.
- Using OskiCat (but not Melvyl) you can also renew your books online, look up course reserve materials by course number or instructor name, and place holds on items that other library users have already checked out.
Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide. You can use the Request button to request an item from another library, if we don't own it.
- Using Melvyl (but not OskiCat) you can find articles as well as books, easily format a citation for copying into a bibliography, and see images of book covers, when available. Melvyl will also show you the location and availablity of items that we own.
Melvyl has changed as of January 2012, and now includes many more articles. Detailed Melvyl help.