Skip to Main Content
askus Ask us

Social Dimensions of Health

This guide is based on the excellent Psyc 499 LibGuide, which was originally created by Jessica Mussell.

Which search tools do I have access to, and what do they cover?

The search tools researchers typically use are Google, Google Scholar, Summon, and a variety of specialized research databases:

search tool triangle, showing Google, Google Scholar, Summon, and specialized database options


For a description of these search tools click on the following links:

To choose a search tool, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who is producing or publishing the information I need (individual researchers, government, research institutions)?
  2. How are they distributing their information (via websites, formal publications like books or journals)?

If you are looking for commercially published information such as journals, books, magazines and newspapers, you’ll find them via the Library's collection using tools like Google Scholar, Summon and our specialized research databases.  If you are looking for government information, publications from organizations or associations, as well as non-commercially published information (grey literature), search the open Internet using Google or any other search engine.

Searching as strategic exploration

Searching as Strategic Exploration 

Here are some questions to think about (or ask yourself) when trying to figure out which search tool or research database you might use to begin your research. As you can see, your choice of search tool will depend a lot on the type of information you need, and who is producing it, and where they make it available for searching.

searching as strategic exploration

Special thanks to Bucknell University, Bertrand Library Research Services for creating and sharing this poster under a Creative Commons License.

Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.