If you find the number of databases overwhelming you might want to start with the Subject Guides link on the library's front page. On this page we've divided up the databases by subject, and included every database that has something to do (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot) with the subject.
When you reach the Subject Guide homepage, click on the 'Databases' link to see the list of databases. You might also be interested in the Internet tab. Under the Internet tab you'll find a list of websites we consider to be high quality sites on that particular subject.
In order to access the databases when you are outside the library, go to Esearch and enter your Spartans Domain user name and password. There is a link to Esearch on the library's front page. If you need assistance with your Spartans Domain log-in information, please contact the IT Help Desk at StudentHelp@ut.edu or at x6255.
Ten or fifteen minutes preparation at the beginning of your search can save you hours of frustration later.
Whether you're searching ProQuest or IMDb take a few minutes to read the help page. Most databases have a help page (sometimes this page is marked simply with a question mark icon). You don't need to read the whole thing, but looking for the help button is an excellent habit to acquire. Eighty percent of the time, when I'm asked to help with a database I'm not familiar with, I find the answer by searching through the help page.
Then, do some practice searches. It is important at this stage that you do not get bogged down in finding high quality information for your research. Search, for example, on a hobby, or on a topic of personal interest. Then, click on lots of links to see what information is available.
Now that you've spent 15 minutes familiarizing yourself with the database you're ready to begin your search.
Remember as you search to look for important key words (authors names can sometime be valuable key words). Frequently when I begin a search I'm using the wrong language. Figuring out what language the experts use is essential for effective searching.