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Introduction to Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Recommended Databases

Research and library resources for students taking ESL/Wr 107, Wr 109 and SEC 111 at Caltech.

CaltechConnect

Whenever you're looking for articles in databases that don't give you full text, look for this icon, or the words "Caltech Connect," for help in determining whether we have access to that article.

If you need an article from a journal to which we don't subscribe, use our DocuServe InterLibrary Loan Service to request a copy for free.

Recommended Databases

Google Scholar Search Engine
Click on the three lines in the top left to bring up an option for the Advanced search options.


Is Google Scholar a Database?

Technically, no - it is a search engine. It only retrieves web links that match the conditions you put in. It does not have a limit on what it searches, and it doesn't provide any additional information about the results the way other databases do.

How can I add CaltechConnect options to Google Scholar results?

  1. Sign into (or create) your Google account and navigate to Scholar settings.
  2. Select "Library links" and search for "California Institute of Technology".
  3. Check the box next to "California Institute of Technology - Caltech Connect" and then click "Save".
  4. You should now see "Caltech Connect" on the right hand side of your search results.

Where is the Advanced Search in Google Scholar?

Click the three lines in the upper part of the screen, then click "Advanced Options":

 --> select "Advanced Search" at the bottom --> 

Compared to other databases like Web of Science, Google Scholar only has limited subset searching - in other words, narrowing down a search you've already done by using additional terms. It only supports narrowing by time frame and sorting options. You really can't modify an existing search - you will need to perform a new search with your new parameters.

If you're not finding what you're looking for in the most popular databases and indexes, Caltech subscribes to many more databases that can be found here.

Some recommended databases for different subjects can be found on Subject Library Guides.

Annual Reviews is a good place to search for review articles as well. Note that reviews don't exist for every topic; if you find your topic getting few or no hits, try a broader topic.