Show Me, an Electronic Tutorial on Searching Subscription Databases

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Module 3: How do I choose a database?

Use the Research Tools on the Library's website.

The BU Library website does more than list databases; it provides gateways to access these databases. It is tempting to bookmark databases that you will use again and again - but the link probably will not work when you next try it. The library's web pages provide the best, consistent access to our subscription databases, and are updated as databases change.

The Electronic Resources by Subject website organizes links to electronic resources by broad subject areas.

Relevant indexes and full-text databases for each subject are selected and linked.

The Indexes and Databases webpage organizes links to individual databases alphabetically.

Click About for a database description...

This link to About will help you decide if the database fits your needs.

The Indexes and Databases webpage also indicates database availability off-campus with a "px" designation.

The Research Guides webpages organize links to individual databases by type or topic.

Over 100 subject-specific research guides are organized by subject and alphabetically by title.

Other BU libraries also provide gateway pages.

Each branch library website displays links of importance to its particular students, faculty and staff. Some BU libraries (the Law and Medical Libraries, for example) subscribe and link to databases for the exclusive use of law or medical students, faculty and staff.

When in doubt at any stage in the research process - ask! Librarians may be contacted in person (, by telephone (, and by email (

End of module 3: How do I choose a database?

Link to module 4: How do I search?