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Introduction to Library Research

Off-Campus Access

Learn how to connect to resources off-campus

Library Databases

Search for academic journal, magazine, and newspaper articles using the library databases. Most academic journal articles cannot be found using Google and require access through the libraries. 

The following multidisciplinary library databases cover the humanities, social sciences, and sciences:

Our Databases page provides even more general databases to begin your research. 

For strategic searching within a subject field use the library's subject databases. 

Use A-Z Databases to find databases organized by subject or use subject research guides to identify key databases in your field. 

Primo Search

Primo Search allows you to search most databases and the catalog in one search. This is a useful tool for (1) a broad search and (2) when you are looking for a specific article. 

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a tool that will allow you to search the deep web for academic research. Make sure to connect to the VPN or use the UF direct link, so that you have access to the articles that are available through the UF Libraries. 

Search Tips

Search Filters 

Use search filters to narrow your search. Each database is different, but look for:

  • Full Text: Limits results to sources that are available in full. (You can read it now).
  • Scholarly / Peer Reviewed: Also called refereed, limits results to articles from peer reviewed journals. These articles are reviewed by experts in the field and considered scholarly sources.
  • Publication Date: Limit results to a specific date range. This is important if you need current information.
  • Source Types: Limit results by source type. This is very useful when you are looking for a specific type of source (e.g. academic journal articles, newspaper articles).

Boolean Operators

Combine multiple search terms using AND and related terms using OR. Always use parentheses with OR statements. For example, if you search Black Lives Matter AND (social media OR Twitter) AND activism your search must include Black Lives Matter, activism and either social media or Twitter in the results.  

Phrase Searching

You can also keep words together using quotation marks. For example, searching "Black Lives Matter" searches for those three words together instead of searching separately for Black, lives, and matter. 


You can search multiple endings by truncating your search. Not all databases are the same, but typically you can use an asterisk. For example, activis* searches for activist, activism

Peer Review

Peer Review in 3 Minutes by NCSU Libraries

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