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Development & Globalization: GUS 0862

How you can find the right database when there are so many? Why is Google not good enough?

One of the challenges of Google is that it searches EVERYTHING publicly available but many articles, books and other items may be restricted to licensed (paid for) databases. Temple has over 700! 

The Database Basics Tutorial reviews the how and why.

Another question students often have is how to identify if an article is scholarly? Databases are well structured with options/filters to help you identify those, too. Take a look at the chart below.

Library Databases

 covers social issues. It is a good database for this course. My examples will provide some strategies, many of which can be used in other databases too. 

  • Search terms: what are the major aspects you are interested in? infrastructure? agriculture? poverty? politics?

    • Location: use location filter on the left to select the country you are interested in.

    • Dates: Limit the dates to more recent, maybe 10 years?

    • Peer Reviewed: select peer reviewed on the left if you are narrowing to that type of publication

    • Source Type: you may want to select a specific source type from the left as well

    • Language: Depending on the country you've selected you may want to filter to English language

  • Example Link: this was a general search for (developing country and drinking water) 

  • Example: Russia, peer reviewed, 2010 --

Research Guides

The below research guides contain information about library databases, web resources, books and more on the subject covered.

I am new to this liaison area so am still in the process of doing updates to them.

  1. Geography

  2. Urban Studies:

  3. Environmental Studies:

Additional Resources

A few additional databases that cover international topics might be useful if you need more. These databases have many international publications. They are part of a larger database called Proquest Central that searches across a collection of many databases covering many subject areas. There may be others

Research Process Tutorial

Click to open the Research Process tutorial in full screen

In this self-paced online tutorial, learn about the research process and steps to follow when conducting your own research.

Scholarly, Research, Non-Scholarly, Popular, etc.

Different types of publications have different purposes and different audiences. When we talk about source types, we can divide these sources into broad categories such as scholarly and non-scholarly; however, you should evaluate all sources you find and think critically about why and how you are using them. Below are a few characteristics of each and things to consider when using them in your research.

  Scholarly (also referred to as "Research" or "Peer-Reviewed") Non-Scholarly
purpose Often informs and reports on original research done by scholars and experts in the field. May also include sources with general information and established facts. Informs a general audience. May or may not provide in-depth analysis.
authors Articles are written by subject specialists and experts in the field. Articles are written by journalists, freelance writers, or an editorial staff.
audience Intended for a limited audience - researchers, scholars, experts Intended for a broad segment of the population, appealing to non-specialists.
  • Newspaper articles (NY Times, Washington Post, etc.)
  • Magazines (Time, The Atlantic)
  • Blogs
How do I use it?
  • As evidence to support your argument, e.g. you might point to a specific finding in a research study to bolster your own point or opinion.
  • As background/historical information to introduce a topic e.g. you might use information from an encyclopedia article to give your reader an overview of a topic.
  • To engage its argument, (e.g. you might use an editorial from the New York Times on mental illness to refute in your own paper).
  • A preliminary search tool (e.g. news articles often link to research and data sources that may be "scholarly" or provide a more in-depth analysis).
How to identify it Lengthy list of references to other sources, author credentials May or may not have a list references (often shorter if included at all)

If you have questions about what qualifies as "scholarly" or "credible," ask your instructor or a librarian.