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Women's History: Articles & Databases

Use this guide to learn more about researching women's history.

Suggested Databases

Can't Find the Full Text?

If a database doesn't have the full text of an article you are looking for, you can copy and paste the title of the article into our catalog to see if we might have that item here. If we don't have it, request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Filtering Your Results

Most databases have Filters/Limits - use these to narrow down your search to the specific dates, article type, or population that you are researching.

Here is an example of limits in a database, all databases look slightly different but most have these options.

Create a Search Using Commands

1. Isolate keywords from your topic.

2. Narrow your search results to include both of your keywords using AND.

librarian AND “active learning” AND “information literacy”

3. Continue building onto your search, and expand your options using OR to find similar terms.

librarian AND “active learning” AND “information literacy” AND (student OR researcher)

Combining search terms with AND:

  • Narrows your search, reducing the number of results.
  • Makes the search focus more specifically on your topic.

For Example

A search for librarian yields 172,745 results

A search for “active learning” yields 16,358 results

A search for "active learning" AND librarian yields 1,243 results

Combining search terms with OR:

  • Expands your search and increases number of results.

For Example

A search for student yields 3,698,871 results

A search for researcher yields 1,425,100 results

A search for student OR researcher yields 4,690,553 results

Combining search terms with NOT:

  • Narrows your search, decreasing your search results.
  • Tells the search to exclude certain terms.

For Example

A search for college yields 3,378,136 results

A search for college NOT “high school” yields 2,916,582 results

Use Quotation Marks to:

  • Narrow your search.
  • Combine search terms that are more than single worlds.

This shows the search engine that you want the terms to be found together. The search will look for exactly what you place in the quotation marks, so be sure there are no mistakes.

For Example

A search for information literacy yields 147,695 results

A search for "information literacy" yields 13,038 results

 

Use Truncation to:

  • Expand your search.
  • Give your search tool flexibility to find alternate endings for your search term.

Search engines match your terms to results; they will not automatically find an alternate version of it. Truncation tells the search to match the root of your term and gives it freedom to find whatever endings it can.

For Example

A search for Librarian yields 172,775 results

A search for Librar* yields 1,887,533 results

These commands are called Boolean Operators.

Boolean

1. denoting a system of algebraic notation used to represent logical propositions, especially in computing and electronics.

What does that mean for you?

If you are having a hard time finding what you need, use the Boolean Operators outlined here to more efficiently search databases.

No matter where you are searching - the catalog, Google Scholar, a database you will want to use Boolearn Operators to refine your search to your specifications.

We are indebted to the Butler University Library's And/Or/Not box for some of the content displayed here.

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Google and Academic Databases

Google, and more appropriately Google Scholar, can be valid places to search for articles and organizations. However, subject specific databases will have more advanced search options and articles. Here are some key differences between databases and Google.

  Library Databases Google Google Scholar
Types of
Information
You Can Find
  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Newspaper articles
  • Reviews
  • Theses & dissertations
  • Empirical evidence
  • Popular, commercial, educational websites
  • Organization websites
  • Directories
  • Current news & events
  • Few free journal articles
    & books (many academic publications are not free)
  • Educational websites
  • Theses & dissertations
  • Conference publications
    & presentations
  • Scholarly journal articles
    (but access will be restricted
    to free resources,
    see below for how to set
    up SLC links)
Credibility & Review
  • Subject specific books
    and articles
  • Evaluated for accuracy
    and credibility
  • Lack of control allows
    anyone to publish
    material
  • Usually not evaluated for accuracy & credibility
  • Some resources evaluated
    for accuracy & credibility,
    but not through Google,
    so need to verify review process for each publication
Discovery
  • Database functionalities
    allow users to search
    for & find more relevant results
  • Less ability to search
    for & retrieve precise
    results
  • Not releasing 
    information on
    algorithms, paid
    products can float
    to the top
  • Less ability to search for
    & retrieve precise results
  • Not releasing information
    on algorithms, therefore
    it is not known why
    results float to the top