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PART I: Choosing the Right Tools - p. 4 of 5


3 – Search for articles


Databases are tools you can use to search for magazine, journal, and newspaper citations or full-text articles. The RU Library subscribes to MANY databases, and as an RU student most of them are available to you via the Library’s website.


You can use RU databases from off campus. When you try to open a database off campus, you will be asked to authenticate using the barcode from your ID. The barcode number is always 23311 + your 9 digit personal ID number. For more information, see our Access FAQ.


If you know what database you want, go to the Library Homepage, click on the drop-down menu below the words Online Resources A-Z and select View All Databases to see an alphabetical list of all our databases. The database list includes descriptions of each tool, telling you what topics are covered and what kind of resources they offer so you can select the best one.



If you don’t know what database you want, click on the drop-down menu below the words Research Guides by Subject on the Library homepage. This will give you a list of all our research guides organized by discipline so you can select the ones that might address your topic.



When in doubt, it is a great idea to start with our Searching - Getting Started Research Guide, a link you can find under the words I Need: Select Library Resources on the library homepage. Tools such as Academic Search Premier (requires log in with your RU ID) cover a wide variety of subjects and include scholarly and non-scholarly materials.


If you want to use something other than the multi-subject tools, think first about the topic of your class (i.e., Psychology if you are in a Psychology class). However, many research topics are interdisciplinary. For instance, if your topic relates to the effect of television violence on children’s school performance, you may want to use databases in Psychology, Education, or Sociology. You may also find specialty categories such as Newspapers or Statistics helpful. Be creative and explore your options by reading the database descriptions the Library provides. It is also  helpful to know that the most popular or largest databases are often listed first in each category. That doesn't mean the first choice is always "best", but it might be a good place to start.


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