Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Searching for articles on a topic

Millions of articles are published in newspapers, magazines, and journals every year. The Virginia Tech Libraries purchase access to databases to help find articles on your research topics. Some articles will be available online, while others only available in print. You may need to use Interlibrary Loan to obtain some articles.

You will need to choose from among over 700 databases the Virginia Tech Libraries provides, including the new Summon database, to search for articles on your research topic. Here are a few strategies for choosing a database.

Find a database by title

When you know the name of the database to use (because it was demonstrated in a class or suggested by your instructor), simply search for that title to get the link to the database. Remember to use Off Campus Sign In if you are not using the campus network to ensure you can access the database.

Search for database titles

Databases by subject | Databases by format | General interest databases

The database title search box searches exactly that: names of databases. Use this form when you need a link to a known database, or enter a broad subject term to get a list of databases with that term in their names. When you don't know the name of a database you need, use the Subject guides instead to see a list of recommended databases by topic area.

Find a database using a general topic term 

You can use the Find a database by title search box and enter general terms that describe your topic, such as history or sustainability to find databases that include that term in their titles or descriptions.

Browse databases by subject  

The Subject guides list databases selected by a subject librarian that will be useful for research within that subject. Databases are ranked for each subject and list topics and range of dates covered.

Use a general interest database  

General interest databases cover a wide range of topics from many kinds of sources. They are a great starting point for many research assignments since you are likely to get at least a few search results on your topic. Major general interest databases are listed below; many more are available on the general interest databases listings.

Browse databases by broad subject categories 

Databases are also listed in broad subject categories. These can be useful to browse when your research topic crosses many disciplines.

Browse databases by type/format 

Databases are also listed by the type or format of the materials or resources they index. Examples included databases for conference proceedings, multimedia, newspaper articles, reviews, or statistics.

Browse databases alphabetically 

If you know the beginning letter of the database you need, or you want to browse all databases, use the alphabet below. Note that these lists are long and unwieldy; the methods of accessing databases listed above a far easier.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Search article indexes in print

Print indexes cover older material or material not indexed in electronic databases. They are essential if you are doing comprehensive research on a topic.


NOTE: Most items obtained from this page are subscribed to by the library and accessible only to Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff.
WARNING: The abuse of Virginia Tech licensed online resources by such means as systematic downloading violates the university's acceptable use policy, jeopardizes Tech's future access to resources, and is prohibited.

Search Summon

Search for


Advanced search | Summon help | Use subject specific databases

Search Summon for articles

More search options