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Distance Education Services and Research Assistance: Research Databases

This guide will provide information about library services and research assistance for students in Texas State University classes at a distance

Introducing the Start Your Research Tool!

  • This search tool is a quick way to start your research on a topic and see all the resources the library has to offer on it.
  • You can search for one topic, such as "photography". This would get you a list of all the library resources with the keyword "photography" mentioned in the entries in this system, which would be a lot!
  • Or you could do a search for "photography and history" without the quotes but with the word AND. This would get you all the resources that have entries in this system that have BOTH the words "photography" and "history".
  • Check the Full-Text (Online) box if you want quick access to a whole article, ebook, or other electronic resource on your topic.

Limiting your Search

Suppose after you do your intitial search, you decide to change your topic or you want to have more options to limit your search. You may want to limit your results to only books, or by date, or by a specific title or type of article, depending on what you need for your research.

NOTE: This system can search the full text of the ebook, magazine, journal, newpaper and other periodical articles that the library has online access to, but it cannot search the full text of all of the books or other materials that do not have the full text available to search.

If you do not find exactly what you are looking for and you have limited to searching only the library catalog, please try to think what broader topic your particular topic would be related to and search for that.

For example, try doing just a search for Weegee and affluence with Library Catalog checked off. You can browse the list of books, find one that looks good and then click Retrieve Catalog Item. Then use the subject heading links in the catalog record to find more books about him.

Then you can find all the books about him, write down a call number for one of them and go to that book. All the books near that one will be by or about him too. Then you can physically search the books by looking in the indexes or tables of contents.


RefWorks is web-based bibliographic software that enables you to:

  • Organize your research
  • Include citations while you write your paper
  • Build a bibliography in a variety of formats
  • Import references from many data sources
  • Create bibliographies in different document formats (Word, RTF, HTML, etc.)

Hint: if you are in a database and there's an option to "export to bibliographic manager" - that's Refworks

Where to Search

Use Research Databases to find articles on your topic.


The library subscribes to hundreds of databases for you to use. These function as search engines for published articles.

Many of the databases contain full-text articles, meaning that the actual article is available there.  

Databases contain proprietary content from a variety of scholarly journals, conference proceedings, books, dissertations, and more.