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Wondering which education database to choose?

August 21st, 2013

in Pickering Educational Resources Library

Using an appropriate database for your research is very important.

BU Libraries Search and Google Scholar are essential sources because of their relative size. There are around 40 million records available through BU Libraries Search, and untold millions through Scholar. These two databases are interdisciplinary, which means that you can find articles on medicine, history, engineering, art, and all sorts of other topics. However, size can work against finding good quality results.

Many library databases such as Education Full Text are much smaller, but are very useful because they are topic-specific to education. When you search a database that includes literature about education only, you will often retrieve better, i.e. more focused results from search terms.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • BU Libraries Search primarily presents things we own or have access to.
  • Google Scholar and other databases will occasionally present items we do not own or have access to.  Check the Find At BU button , and also see our guide to accessing full text.
  • Other smaller databases on education do provide great, customized search options.  For example, in PsycINFO one can limit search results to those records tagged with the methodology “empirical study”.