Google Scholar is a great place to find citations and abstracts for scholarly articles.
The academic databases listed on this page are excellent sources for journal articles. Library databases are different from online search engines like Google, so you will need to master a few basic concepts in order to use them effectively. This guide will outline what you need to know to find the best sources:
When using the databases, you should exclude all extraneous words from your searches. First, leave out all articles (a, and, the) in your search. Next, narrow your search terms down to two or three words that describe exactly what you hope to find For example, if you are writing a paper about the effect of music education on memory, narrowing your search terms down to memory and music education will likely retrieve a manageable list of more precise results.
After you have selected your initial search terms, list any synonyms or related terms that might be relevant to your topic. For example, if your search terms are memory and "music education", you might want to try synonyms such as "music learning" or "music cognition" in place of "music education". You may even replace your term with a related term, such as "music perception." Successful searches are often the result of trying out a variety of terms. Most databases will provide you with suggestions of additional or alternate search terms to use, which can lead you to better results in a shorter amount of time.
Two or more search terms may be combined in different ways to yield different results. The connectors AND, OR, NOT are useful search tools, and most databases have these built in to make searching easier. Use the connector AND to yield results that contain both search terms. Use OR for results that contain either term. Use NOT to exclude results that contain a specific term.