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Tools for Research in Library & Information Studies : LIS Databases

An introduction to resources and research techniques for Library & Information Studies.

Introduction to LIS databases

The General Library System (GLS) provides a list of Library and Information Studies specific databases that index and provide full-access to library-related materials. 

Core LIS Databases

The primary databases for locating LIS literature are Library Literature & Information Science Full Text, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA), and Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA). There is much overlap in materials between them, but each has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, Library Literature & Information Science Full Text contains a subcollection, Library Literature & Information Science Retrospective, that indexes earlier research (as early as 1905) than either LISTA or LISA.

More information on these primary LIS databases can be found using the menu at the right of this page.

Also Helpful

The GLS Library and Information Studies database list also contains several other databases that index and provide full-access to library-related materials. These include ERIC, Academic Search, and Proquest Research Library. However, these databases provide access to many different types of materials across disciplines, not just LIS-related materials. In other words, These secondary databases have breadth, but not depth.

Finally, the GLS Portal provides a list of auxiliary databases. These databases provide access to materials that could be considered specialties or subfields of LIS. For example, the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database provides materials to children's literature. 

Database search tips

Refine keyword searches:

Most databases use either a full text or "smart search" by default. You may be able to get more relevant search results by limiting keyword searches to specific fields.

Browse Subject Headings:

Each database uses a thesaurus or set of subject headings to help organize articles. Browsing these subject headings may help to refine your existing searches or generate new ideas for your research. Subject headings can also be used to create more powerful and refined keyword searches.

Limit by Time Period:

If you know that the information you're looking for must be from specific time periods, limit your search to a specific set of dates. For instance, if you're only interested in new research on your topic, you can limit results to the last ten years. 

Limit by Resource Type:

Looking for only peer-reviewed resources? Book reviews? Limit your searches based on the resource type you're looking for.