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Research Essentials

A General Guide to Research: how to research, where to look for sources, how to evaluate work, and where to get research help in the Iona University Libraries.

Introduction to Research Databases

Iona University Libraries subscribe to over 200 online research databases. These databases are accessible both on and off-campus, containing scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals, magazines and newspapers, and even streaming videos. 

Many of the articles found in our subscription databases are not accessible by searching on a commercial search engine like Google or DuckDuckGo.

Selecting a Research Database

Choosing a database can challenging, particularly when working on a deadline.

Most of the research databases can be organized by database type:

  • Reference Databases: Reference Databases provide useful, encyclopedic overviews of topics. They are particularly useful for developing a research question from your chosen topic.

  • Multidisciplinary Databases: Multidisciplinary Databases cover many subjects and are a good starting point if your topic is broad or you are not sure where to start your research.

  • Subject Specific Databases: Subject Specific Databases are specialized databases and cover the full range of disciplines in the Iona curriculum. They are useful when you have narrowed down your topic to a specific subject.

  • News and Current Events Databases: News and Current Event Databases include newspaper and magazine databases, and several other databases covering current and controversial issues. In addition to these database offerings, you are eligible for a free digital subscription to the New York Times while you are an Iona student. Follow the instructions on the The New York Times Academic Pass to activate your account.

  • eBook Databases: eBook Databases include both multidisciplinary and subject specific eBook databases.

  • Video Databases: Video Databases include both multidisciplinary and subject specific video databases.

If you still haven't found relevant resources, reflect on the research steps. Where are you in your research process? What sort of sources do you need for your assignment or for better understanding your topic?

The Credo video Choosing a Database describes in greater detail how to choose a database that appropriately matches your assignment and research needs.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to search for relevant scholarly information across many disciplines and sources, such as articles, books, theses, and court opinions, from academic publishers, universities, and other websites.

While Google Scholar contains articles accessible on the open web, occasionally the full text of the article is only available with database subscriptions. If you are on-campus, you will see a link titled “Find Full Text @ Iona” to the right of the article title.

To access articles from databases Iona University Libraries subscribes to off-campus:

  • Go to Settings
  • Click on Library Links
  • Type in Iona University

This FAQ outlines how to access full texts from Iona University Libraries databases while off-campus.