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WR227 - Technical Writing: Finding Articles

A course guide to information sources for technical writing.

What's a Library Database? - Video

This video briefly and clearly explains what a journal article is and why we use library databases to find journal articles on a topic.

When Should I Use a Database?

Since Primo Library Search includes articles in its results, you may be wondering why you would bother to search in a journal article database. There are several reasons for using an individual database:

  • Noise - Say you're looking for information on zombies (computers that distribute spam) and you find articles on the walking dead, philosophy, anthropology, and other subjects; using a database that specializes in computer literature lets you focus on your topic
  • Bells and Whistles - Some databases have specialized subject headings and powerful search features; most let you search within the full text of articles
  • Thoroughness - not all database articles are included in Primo Library Search, for technical reasons; Education Full Text and CINAHL (Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), and the databases on the Databases on the Web guide are not included in the Library Search 

Choose Databases by Subject

Getting Reference Help

  • E-mail a Question to Reference
  • Phone Reference at 503.399.5231
  • Chat reference: Please use the form below
  • We recommend that you include an e-mail address so that you can receive a transcript of your chat and so the library can send you any followup help.