Two Types of Databases
(Also Called Periodical Indexes)

1. General

2. Subject

Which article index you use depends upon your topic and the type of paper you are writing.

1. General Article Indexes--a place to get started

  •  Is your topic general or cross-disciplinary?
  •  Currently in the news?
  •  Are you just beginning your research and need only introductory information or just a few articles?

If so, start with one of the general databases. These cover a wide range of subjects and often index a mixture of popular and scholarly sources. This is often a good place to begin your research. Examples of general indexes and the kinds of articles they identify are:

Academic Search Complete
Indexes articles from scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers; covers a wide range of topics in current events, history, medicine, arts and humanities, the sciences and more from the late 1980s to the present. Many are available in full text.

Newspaper Source Indexes articles from more than 250 national, international, and local newspapers, news wires and television news programs; full text is available for national and international newspapers. Coverage from 1997 to the present, but varies by title.

MasterFile Premier
Multidisciplinary database that indexes periodicals, newspapers, reference works, and primary source documents, including biographies, images, articles, etc. Much of the content is available as full text, with coverage going back as far as 1975. Images include photos, maps and flags.
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