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HIST 3770 Pandemic! Infectious Disease in Global History (Roth): Finding Secondary Sources: Articles

Databases for Articles

America: History and Life:  index to scholarly history journals covering the United States and Canada for all time periods.
Advantages: largest number of history journals in any database; allows searching by historical time period.
Disadvantage: not all articles contain links to full text.

Historical Abstracts:  covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present.
Advantages: largest number of history journals in any database; allows searching by historical time period; publication date coverage extends back to 1955.
Disadvantage: not all articles contain links to full text.

Iter:  Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance:  index to about 400 journals and other resources devoted to medieval and Renaissance studies.
Advantages:  focuses on a time period that many other databases leave out; in addition to articles, it also includes references to books and specific articles in encyclopedias.
Disadvantage:  index only; no full text (but the library would have many of the resources Iter includes; you simply have to take the additional step of looking them up in GIL-Find).

Medieval & Early Modern Bibliographies:  provides a comprehensive and current bibliography of articles and books on Western European history from 300 to 1700.
Advantages:  includes early-modern years as well as medieval; good for interdisciplinary research; covers many international publications; has special thematic search feature on popular topics like daily life and colonialism.
Disadvantage:  index only; no full text (but the library would have many of the items in this database; you would simply have to take the additional step of looking them up in GIL-Find)

JSTOR: index to scholarly journals in all subjects.
Advantages: all articles contain links to full text; coverage extends back to first issue of each journal; journals are considered core titles in their fields; good for interdisciplinary research.
Disadvantages: doesn't include as many history journals; doesn't include most recent 5 years of publication.

Medline (EBSCO version):  Index and abstracts of journal articles in the health sciences with links to full text.
Medline (ProQuest version)
Advantages:  very large database; covers medical journals that may not be included in history databases.
Disadvantages:  not as much historical content; history-related articles may be hard to separate out from current medical topics; scientific content can be challenging to non-experts; not all articles contain links to full text (but most do).

Global Health: public health database that provides information on international health, biomedical life sciences, non-communicable diseases, public health nutrition, food safety and hygiene.
Advantages:  may be easier to find public health information in this database than in larger general medicine databases; good for international topics
Disadvantages:  not as much historical content; scientific content can be challenging to non-experts; not all articles contain links to full test (but most do)

Gender Watch:  articles from scholarly and popular journals and other publications on gender in cultural, social, and historical context.
Advantages:  very good for gender issues and interdisciplinary topics; most articles have full-text links.
Disadvantage:  not as much historical coverage.

Academic Search Complete: index to journals in all subjects.
Advantages: very large number of journals covered; good for interdisciplinary research.
Disadvantages: not all journals included are scholarly; not all articles contain links to full text.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Full Text:  graduate students at many universities conduct in-depth research and write a thesis or dissertation as part of their degree requirements. This database includes the full text of theses and dissertations from many different universities around the world.
Advantages:  you may find a study very relevant to your topic that hasn't been published as a book, so you wouldn't find it anywhere other than this database; footnotes and bibliographies of dissertations can be especially helpful for identifying sources; many available in full text
Disadvantage:  if a thesis or dissertation has been subsequently published as a book, it's probably better to use the published book because it will have gone through further improvement and peer review.

Multi-Search:  this resource allows you to search many (but not all) of the library databases simultaneously.  The search box appears on the UGA Libraries webpage.
Advantages:  saves you from having to switch from one database to another and retype your search; good for interdisciplinary topics that no single database covers thoroughly.
Disadvantages: can be overwhelming because your searches may return a very large number of results; omits special search features (such as time period search) offered by some individual databases; doesn't include all the Libraries databases.

Complete list of GALILEO databases for history. Remember that there are also guides for almost every subject in addition to history.


Tips for Searching Article Databases

Tips for database searching

Try your search several different ways, even if you get good results on the first try.  There's almost always more or better material available than you can find in just one search.

Try a truncation symbol, usually an asterisk (*), to find more forms of your search terms. Histor* will search the words history, histories, historian, historical, historiography, etc.

If you want your terms to be searched as a phrase rather than as separate words, put them in quotations (e.g., “Gilded Age”)

Is an advanced search option available?  It can help you construct more complex or precise searches.

An option to search the full text of the article rather than just a title or abstract can be very helpful for some topics, but it may bring back too many results or irrelevant results for other topics.  Don’t assume that full text searching is always the best option; you may have more success searching for subject keywords or titles of articles.

If your search brings back too many results, look for options (often in the left menu) to narrow it to full-text articles, peer-reviewed articles, articles written after a specified date, etc.  Be sure you understand what the limiting option will remove from your search; you don't want to lose any good material!

If the database offers abstracts (brief summaries) of articles, these can help you quickly decide between articles you want to read in their entirety and articles that won’t be much help to you.


Getting the Full Text

Once you have a reference to a journal article, how can you find the full text of the article?

  • Look for a full-text link in the article reference.
  • Look for the “UGA Access” button, which searches GIL-Find for electronic and print journal holdings.
  • If there’s no “UGA Access” button in the database, search for the journal title (not the individual article title) in the Journals by Title search on the UGA Libraries website .
  • If UGA doesn’t have the article in any format, you can get a copy of it through Interlibrary Loan at no charge.

If an article isn't available online, don't assume that it isn't important or worth reading.  Choose the articles that seem most relevant to your topic, even if you have to go to a little more trouble to get them.