Two Types of Online Databases 
(Also called Periodical Indexes)

1. General

2. Subject

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

2. Subject Indexes

  • Do you need to gather a lot of in-depth information on your topic?
  • Is your topic in a particular subject area?
  • Is your topic very specific, or very technical?

If so, use a subject index. Subject indexes specialize in a particular subject, and the articles indexed are generally from scholarly sources. Examples of subject indexes and the kinds of articles they identify are:

Biological Abstracts/BIOSIS
Indexes scholarly journals, books, meetings, reports, symposia, patents, and conferences in the life sciences. Citations and abstracts--no full text.

Contains citations and abstracts of journal articles, book chapters, books, and technical reports in the field of psychology--no full-text articles.

Contains citations and abstracts from over 750 educational journals and related documents from the Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC). Does have some full-text access to articles.

MLA International Bibliography
Indexes journal articles, books, book chapters, and dissertations, on literature and language. Does not include abstracts, but occasionally links to full text in other databases.
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