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Canadian Studies Subject Guide: Find Articles

A guide to key databases, reference & web sources, and research & citation guides for Canadian Studies

Key Databases for Canadian Studies

Search Tips

Keyword Searching

A keyword search allows you to search for a word, words or a phrase anywhere in the library catalogue record (such as author name or words appearing in the title).

  • It's always a good idea when searching for information on a topic to use multiple search strategies and to account for variations in language, terminology, spelling, etc.

For example:

neoliberalism and higher education
neoliberalism and universities
capitalism and universities


Starts With or Browse Searching

A Starts With (or Browse) search allows you to browse a list of titles, authors or subject headings that correspond to the information you provide.  This type of search is best used when you are searching for a particular title, author or subject.

Subject searches can be an effective way to find information about an author or topic. 

  • Subject searches use Library of Congress SUBJECT HEADINGS. These are standardized headings assigned to a book to describe what the book is about. A single book may have one or, more likely, several different Subject Headings.
  • Subject headings work pretty much the same way tags work on social networking or photo sharing sites: you can click on a subject heading to find other books on the same or similar topic (the same way you can click on a tag to find more photos of kittens).

To search by Subject in the Library Catalogue, click the Starts With button and then select LC Subject from the drop-down menu.

Examples of Subject Headings:

Globalization -- Social Aspects
Alternative Mass Media -- Canada
Critical Theory -- Dictionaries
Information Theory in Sociology
Durkheim, Émile, 1858-1917
Cities and towns--Canada--Growth

These are, of course, just examples.  You are not expected to know what an appropriate subject for your topic might be. 

One effective way of using subject headings is to begin with a Keyword search.  Then, once you've found a few books that fit your criteria, take a look at the subject headings.  You can then click on a subject heading to find all other titles in the library that have that same heading.  In other words, you can use subject headings to help you find more titles similar to ones you've already found.


Journal Finder

Already got a citation for an article and you want to find it at the library? 

Use Journal Finder to search for the title of the journal, magazine or newspaper.

Journal Finder will direct you to the database in which a journal is available in digital format.