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Choosing and Using Library Databases

Google Scholar

If you don't see the UC-eLinks link in your results, click on Settings in the upper right, then Library Links and select University of California, Los Angeles as your institution.

Google Scholar Search

Search Engines Which Search Multiple Databases at the Same Time

All three have search boxes in the first column of this page.

Publisher-Based Searches

Major online database vendors like ProQuest and Ebsco host many disparate databases, but you can use their search engines to search all the databases from that vendor at once. This technique also works for some major journal and e-book publishers that have search engines which work across all of their titles.


While searching multiple databases at once can be useful, by definition it's lowest-common denominator searching. None of the advanced search techniques available in individual databases will be available. Some pitfalls to watch out for:

  • Your search results may mix apples and oranges... or, less figuratively, things like articles and dissertations.
  • Subject headings won't be consistent.
  • Databases with full-text searching may be over-represented in your results, simply because they have more words to match on.
  • Relevancy ranking doesn't work well.

For more info about the quest for a single search engine to find everything, see...