Search Databases

How to Find an Article or a Library Database

Databases can be used to find journal articles, newspaper articles and conference papers. The latest research findings, discussion on topical issues, literature reviews and scholarly debates are often published in the form of journal articles or conference papers..

Library databases help you search for articles on a particular topic Not all the library databases provide the full text of the article. For those articles that are not available in full text you can utilize our Interlibrary Loan Service (ILL).

Some contain records for government documents, books/ book chapters, dissertations, theses or images

If you really don't know where to start...
Try using one of these recommended library databases:


Steps required for a successful search*

  1. Think about your topic and what is required for the assignment.
  2. List the keyword(s) or phrases that could be used to describe the major concept(s) or subject(s), including alternative words or phrases that mean the same thing (synonyms) and alternative spellings.
  3. List any qualifying terms that could be used to limit your search by location, time period or organization.
  4. Look at the list of databases available to Alfaisal University staff & students [the subject lists include brief descriptions] and select the database(s) which may be relevant to your topic: for example, business ethics may be covered in a database such as: Business Source Premier
  5. Click on the link to the database that you have selected.
  6. Look at the results of your search, and identify any relevant articles.
  7. Note the Subject Headings (also called descriptors), words or phrases that have been used to describe the item(s), and repeat your search using these keywords. You may need to repeat this step a number of times, or even try another database.
  8. Finding nothing - repeat steps 1 - 4 above. You may have selected the wrong keyword(s) or database to use for the topic. Try using more general terms to broaden your search.
  9. Library reference staff or your instructor may be able to help you select appropriate keywords to use for your search. You can contact Library reference staff by using the Ask a Librarian from.
  10. Locate the article. Some databases include the full text of the journal article. When you find the article that you require, you can follow a link directly to the full text
  11. *Grateful Acknowledgement: This is a modified version of a document originally created by librarians at Charles Sturt University Library

Searching for a specific journal

Search for the Title of the Journal, magazine or newspaper (e.g. Newsweek, Journal of Anthropology). Then search within the publication for your article or topic.

E-books at the Alfaisal University Library

The University Library provides access to well over 318,788+ books in electronic format; they vary in features (downloading, linking) and are sometimes grouped together by subject or publisher.

To locate individual e-books, Try the library online catalog


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