Research Guides

E-Research Basics

Simple how-tos for the first steps of finding materials through the GC library's website.

Find Databases by Name

If you know the name of the database you would like to use, you can use the search bar on the home page. Click the Databases tab above the search bar to activate a drop-down menu, then type the initial letter or letters to navigate easily to the database's title. Select it, and then click GO at the end of the bar.

Alternately, you can navigate to the name of the database in the Databases A-Z index.

Searching Databases

Searching within a database is not unlike using the OneSearch tool in the library catalog. You can search in a number of different categories (author, title, subject, etc.) and you can use multiple search fields and filters.

A typical database's advanced search (click on the image to see a larger version):

There are multiple search fields, each of which can be set to search a particular category, as well as search limiters (e.g., Full Text, date range).

Find Databases by Subject

To locate a database that is specific to a particular subject area, use the research guides to find suggestions or the drop-down menus on the Databases A-Z index page.

Research guides can be found through a link on the library's home page, located in the box labeled Research below the search bar on the right-hand side; through a link at the top of the A-Z index page; or at the link in the text above.

Keeping Track of Materials

When you find material in a database that you want to hold onto, there are several ways to save it. Many articles are available as PDFs and can be downloaded to your own computer or storage. Individual databases allow you to create accounts in which you can save reading lists. And, within the OneSearch catalog, you can pin search results to your library account.

Our recommendation, though, is to use a citation manager such as Zotero or RefWorks. Zotero is our strongest recommendation due to its being free and open source, and thus available to you if and when you are no longer affiliated with the Graduate Center. Check the library events page for workshops on using Zotero, and consult our Using Zotero research guide.

Where to Find Databases on the Library Site: A Visual Guide

Database Tab for OneSearch Bar

When the database tab (circled) is active above the search bar on the home page, the bar becomes a drop-down menu of our databases. Type an initial letter or letters to navigate to the name of the database you want, then click GO at the end of the bar.

Alternately, you may use the alphabet index below the search bar to go to a list of databases with that initial letter.

Links to Database Index from Home Page

To go to the database A-Z index page, click the Browse Databases by Title heading, or click the Databases A-Z heading in the Research box.

Find a Research Guide for Database Suggestions

If you would like suggestions for an appropriate subject database, use the research guide for your subject. From the home page, click Research Guides in the Research box.

Find a Research Guide from the Database Index

You can also find the Research Guides from the top of the database index page (circled).