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EH556 -- Victorian Literature: Find Articles (Databases and Discovery Search)

This Library Guide directs you to print and electronic information sources for Victorian Literature in all genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama. The Guide is selective, not comprehensive; the sources listed are representative of their type.

Electronic Resources

There are a number of electronic resources you can use to research your area. The databases on this page are some of the more useful ones.  You can also search for a specific journal using the search box below. If you cannot find what you need, please contact the Subject Specialist using the contact information under the Home tab of this Guide.

Who has access?

If you are faculty, staff, or currently enrolled in classes at Jacksonville State University, you can access the Library's electronic resources from your home computer.

Where can I access these resources?

Access is granted through an authentication application called EZproxy. It is very easy to use, and it allows our users to access our resources from any browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) or service provider (AOL, Mindspring, etc.).

How Do I Access These Resources?

Access is granted through the same credentials you use for MyJSU.  When you select any of our electronic resources, databases or journals, you will be routed to MyJSU.

MyJSU Login Screenshot

It is important to note that users will still be verified through the Library's system, so if there is a problem with your record in the Library’s System, you will be prompted to contact us at 256.782.5758 or 1-800-231-5291.


Although most databases do include some records for books in their indexes, primarily they are used to search for articles and other content published in periodicals; e.g, journals, magazines, and newspapers.  These would be "partial" items (as opposed to "whole " items such as books or entire magazines or journals) and would include such things as scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles, newspaper articles, reviews, book reviews, interviews.

For lists of databases covering literary topics, redirect to 

Language and Literature: Electronic Databases by Subject 

Sometimes it is better to do a multi-database search by vendor, especially if the topic researched is obscure and not likely to have had much written about it.

EBSCOhost Databases     

Gale Databases 

ProQuest Databases

Searching Databases

See right pane on this page for information regarding database and Discovery searching.


Things to Note

Search boxes (Advanced Search)

Left column: search terms & Boolean operators

  • try to match search vocabulary (concrete language) with information content sought (abstract concept)
  • Boolean operators define the relationship of search terms above and below the operator box
    • AND = both search terms must be present in the record for it to be harvested (usually provides the smallest number of results)
    • OR = either term may be present in the result for it to be harvested (usually provides the greatest number of results)
    • NOT = records including term will not be harvested

NOTE: An asterisk (*) at the end of a search term searches variants on that term (utopian, utopias, utopian, etc.) and will expand search results.  Equivalent terms (synonyms) should be either searched individually or nested in a single search box.    

(syn1 OR syn2 OR syn3) 

Right column (field boxes)

  • manipulates search results by telling the database where in the bibliographic record to look for search terms
    • SU = subject terms (reduces number of results harvested)
    • Select a Field = middle-ground default setting 
    • TX = all text (expands number of results harvested)
    • AU = author (of either book or article)
    • TI = article or essay name ("partial" item)
    • SO = journal name ("whole" item)

Center Pane (harvested results list)

HTML Fll Text, PDF Full Text = text of the item is accessible within the database; Full Text Finder = full text must be sought outside the database and may entail multiple clicks

Clicking on Full Text link brings up full text; clicking on hi-lited title leads to full text but also brings up other information, such as article abstract

Relevance matching trifecta:

Searchbox terms found in record title = +1

Searchbox terms found in subjects = +1; boldface =+1+

Searchbox terms found in abstract = +1; boldface = +1+

Once full text of article is visible, right pane displays citation and text-retention options (print, e-mail, save)

Folder consolidates research sources and may be e-mailed

Left Pane (expands or limits results)

Results limiters

  • source and content type
  • publication date range

Results expanders

  • subject and thesaurus terms
    • subdivide harvested results into cross-referenced access points

Right Pane 

Once full item record is surfaced (click on hi-lited title), tools options are featured in right pane


Discovery Search (GEM Finder)

Best when used to search obscure topics about which little is likely to have been published or the area of concentration for such sources is unknown (use Filter by Database limiter in left pane)

Discovery = academic equivalent of Google

  • indexes records for (some) books, articles in peer-reviewed journals and other periodicals, and random internet websites
  • large number of search results harvested
  • due to large number of search results returned, relevancy-sorting not very precise
    • to both reduce number of results harvested and improve relevancy, field boxes may have to be changed to SU or search terms put within "quotation marks" (or both)
  • not every record in a native (single) database migrates into Discovery

NOTE:  The interdisciplinary nature of contemporary research often makes the approach taken to the subject being researched as or even more important than the subject itself.  If an author or work is being researched from an ethnic, gender, or sociological approach (such as child labor), then the LibGuides and databases for sociology should be consulted as well as those for literature.  A good way to assess the "splay" of resources for a multi-disciplinary research project is to search Discovery Gem Finder for the narrowed topic and, once the initial results list is harvested, view the source distribution through the Filter by Database in the left pane.




Levels of Database Searching

Levels of electronic database searching

Electronic databases may be searched on three levels:

  • singly (native database)
  • in groups, provided they all are products of the same vendor (database cluster)
  • Gemfinder Discovery Search, which can simul-search multiple databases across different vendor platforms. 

Advantages of searching a native (single) database

  • smaller, more manageable number of search results
  • allows for more precise subject focusing, particularly in discipline-specific databases

Disadvantages of searching a native database

  • fewer search results and therefore fewer article abstracts and full text
  • greater possibility of missing useful articles because they are not published in a journal indexed in the database being searched

Advantages of simul-searching multiple databases by provider

  • more journals included in the search
  • larger number of search results
  • more article abstracts
  • more full text

Disadvantages of simul-searching multiple databases by provider

  • larger number of search results to evaluate
  • repetition of records in search results

Advantages of Gemfinder Discovery Search

  • permits simul-searching databases provided by multiple vendors 
  • includes more books in search results than native databases do
  • useful for finding information on very obscure topics
  • useful for finding a native database launch point when the location of needed information is unknown

Disadvantages of Gemfinder Discovery Search

  • not well suited for searching broad, heavily-researched topics (e.g., George Washington) 
  • number of search results harvested can be overwhelming
  • results harvested may have little or no relevance to the search performed
  • to both reduce results and improve relevance, may require more sophisticated search techniques than needed for native databases