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Geography: Research Databases

Research Resources for Geography

Check Your Knowledge: What is a database and an index?

Database-a collection of information in electronic format. Most of the library's databases are periodical indexes that help you identify articles published in journals.  We also have databases that provide statistical information. An index is a list of topics mentioned in a book (usually at the end of the book) and a periodical index is used to identify articles in journals, magazines or newspapers in a database. 

Selecting Search Terms

Carefully choosing the terms you use in your database searches will help you find appropriate materials. If you find too many resources in your search or to few, you can adjust the terms you are using to get better results. Please make an appointment with the geography liaison, Caro Pinto, or chat with one of the friendly LITS librarians and subject specialists who can help you refine your search terms to find the materials you need. 

Locate article full text from within a database


Clicking the MHC Get It button for an article will help you locate the full text.

  • If available online: click direct link to go to the full text article online
  • If available in print: double check the years the library owns, find the article in print alphabetically by title (recent journals are in the reading room, older journals are on floor 2 1/2)
  • If neither option is available at MHC: click "Request from another library" to have it delivered electronically through the ILLiad, inter-library loan service.

Determining Quality

Not all information resources are created equal! Be sure you think about what kind of information you are using. Some quick guidelines:

  • Authority - Can you tell who the author is? What are the author's credentials? Who is the publisher and what do you know about the publisher's credentials?
  • Currency - What is the publication date? This is especially important if you need current/up-to-date information.
  • Audience - Is it written/intended for an academic or a popular audience?
  • Bias - What is the author's point of view?
  • Relevance - Is the information relevant to your research question?
  • Accuracy - Does the author cite his/her/their sources? 

See the Penn State University Library's Evaluating Information page for more information about how to ask and answer the above questions, and their Evaluating Information Rubric for tips on what to look for in books, periodicals, and web sites.

NCSU Libraries also have a Peer Review in Three Minutes video that does an excellent job of explaining peer review.

MHC Accessibility Barriers Form