Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research 101 (older version): Where to Search

Understanding Where To Search

Should I use a discipline-specific database?

What is a database?

Databases are collections of information. Library research databases are collections of articles from journals, magazines, and other publications that are available to you because you pay tuition to Hostos, and the Hostos Library pays to gain access to those publications.

Why might I want a discipline-specific database?

Databases are organized by disciplines like psychology, history, law, etc. If you are sure you only want those published within a specific field, you should use a discipline-specific database.

Why might I want to search across several different databases at once?

Many research topics can be approached from different disciplines.

For example, the subject of race relations in prisons might be explored by scholars in different disciplines such as sociology, law, criminal justice, public policy, psychology, or ethnic studies.

Depending on your assignment, articles from many different databases could be relevant and useful to you.

If you are looking for articles from a wide range of disciplines, OneSearch is helpful because it searches mulltiple databases at once. OneSearch may not have every single article that we have on a subject, but it is a great place to start.

If you want to only look within databases within a specific academic field (only psychology, only English literature, only history, etc.), select a you can select subject area from our list of databases: click on the menu and then click on the discipline.

After that, you will see a list of databases, like this:English lit databases

Note that we have highlighted some of the "best bets" - try these first.


How to get to a specific database from the Hostos home page



how to get to the library from the home page(1) Go to the library website from the main Hostos page.


homepage database tab circled(2) Find our list of databases (library database = collection of publications)

homepage database dropdown menu (3) If you know the name of the database you want, you can pick it from the dropdown menu.


What are reference resources and how should I use them?

UPDATE Please note that from fall 2020 onwards, you do NOT have to activate your ID - just sign in with the same username and password that you use for Blackboard!


 Go back to getting startedgo to OneSearchGo to library home page

Using OneSearch

You can search many types of documents through OneSearch.  Enter your key words in the search box.

  • Remember that a great search strategy is to be flexible with your keywords, trying different synonyms and related terms.
  • The way we describe something may or may not be the way someone else does, so trial-and-error is a normal part of searching.
  • Click here for more tips if your searches are not finding you what you want.

OneSearch front page

Once you have a results list, you can filter it to see certain types of documents, for example books or reference resources or newspaper articles.

filter by resource type


Go back to finding and evaluating sources

 Finding research sources Evaluating research sources