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Search Databases

The Library subscribes to about 85 different databases.  Many are subject specific and the various subject guides in this collection will alert you to the best ones. 

You have to be a bit careful with databases--some limit themselves to articles, some include popular sources within them. Many cover various languages, and however carefully you follow the search tips we discussed earlier, you might still get irrlevant or unusable references.  Fortunately almost all databases allow you to restrict your results according to criteria you can set.  Here is an sample from an Ebsco database:


Can you identify at least five ways the search has been limited? 

Why Peer Review?

Peer Review is the evaluation of creative work by scholars  in the same field in order to maintain or enhance the quality of the work in that field.

In the case of peer reviewed journals, which are usually academic,  peer review generally refers to the evaluation of the articles in them prior to publication. 

Because peer review represents an aspect of quality control--in university,  you are normally expected to rely on peer reviewed literature. 

For more follow this link.


Newspapers and Magazines

Sometimes you will need to look for current material that has not made it into the peer reviewed literature.  For inspiration take a look at the subject guide entitled Newspapers and Magazines.

Finding the Full Text of Articles

Within a database, the full-text of articles is often attached to the bibliographic record.  If it is not, "Get it @Laurentian" allows you to get the full text if: a) it exists in another library database; b) it is held in print on the library's shelves; or c) it is held in another library.

You will often see this icon-button in various databases you're searching:

Clicking on this button activates an application called the SFX link resolver. Hereafter we will refer to it simply as SFX.  Most bibliographic citations in your search results will have this SFX button attached to them.

It also appears occasionally in Google Scholar.

SFX performs three major functions in the following order:

  • First, SFX will search the library's numerous electronic resource sites to locate the full text of the bibliographic citation to which it is attached. If it finds the full text, SFX will link to that text. If the full text is found on line, SFX has done its job and stops.
  • If SFX has not found the full text, it moves to the next step by giving you the option to search Evergreen, the library's catalogue. The library may have a print subscription to the journal in which the article was published. Evergreen can provide that information. If Evergreen can't find the journal in print format, SFX will move to its final function.
  • SFX will give you the option of initiating an interlibrary loan request via RACER. If Laurentian doesn't have the article it, RACER can get it elsewhere!

1. Online in Another Database

What happens when an article is available online?

Here's a screen shot (Figure 1) of search results retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

(Figure 1)

To retrieve the full text of article no. 6, simply click on the Get it @ Laurentian button. The SFX opens the following screen.

(Figure 2) 

The full text of the article is available through three different sources. Clicking any of the three circled GO buttons will retrieve the full text online.


2. In Print  through the Catalogue

If an items is not available on-line, either in the database you are using, or in another one, you are then given directed to the catalogue to see whether the item is held on the library shelves in print as in:

If your item is not available in the library's own collection, you have the option of ordering it through interlibrary loan (RACER)

3. Racer (Interlibrary Loan)

Check out the RACER site here to learn more about this service.