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University Library

English Literature

A guide to library resources for English Literature students.

About Databases

Databases are extremely useful tools for finding peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as scholarly essays and chapters in eBooks.

Not sure which database to use? 

  • Try a key database (below)
  • Search in OneSearch, and pay attention to which databases it links you to. If one database keeps showing up for your searches (e.g., JSTOR), try searching it directly.
  • Read the database titles and descriptions. Most are specific to material type (e.g., articles, chapters), disciplines (e.g., Literature) or broad areas (e.g., Humanities).
  • Ask your Librarian (email is best) or Professor!

Key Databases for English

Broad Databases

Pedagogy & Teaching


More Databases

Find Articles in OneSearch

Search for articles in OneSearch if you: 

1) Have an interdisciplinary, experimental, or very specific topic and are having trouble finding articles in a database. 

2) Have a topic in mind and are not sure which database would be best.

3) Know the title of the exact article you are looking for and need to find it. 

Note: OneSearch does not search all databases, so you may miss some articles.


GoogleScholar searches the entire web for scholarly materials.

Downside of using Google Scholar: 

  • There is no way to search for only peer-reviewed articles in academic journals.
  • It lists unpublished works, such as dissertations or theses, without a way to filter them out.
  • You will get millions of results organized by popularity (highest cited). 

Upsides of using Google Scholar:

  • You can easily search for an article by title.
  • You can press the "cited by" button to find similar articles and to see who else has cited the article.
  • Google Scholar can recognize you as a Cal State LA student so you have better access to articles (see below)


How to get Google Scholar to recognize you are a Cal State LA Student:

If Google Scholar knows you are a Cal State LA student, you will see "Find it @ Cal State LA" links, pictured below.

If you are on-campus, access Google Scholar from the library home page to ensure you are connected to Cal State LA's articles.

If you are off-campus, access Google Scholar from the library home page. If you do not go through the library homepage, make sure you add Cal State LA to your institutions:


Is this Journal Peer-Reviewed?

Peer-review means the journal publishes articles that have been reviewed by 3-5 experts over the course of 3-9 months.

  • Click the journal title in a database and look for information about peer review.
  • If you cannot find information about the journal through the database, try looking up the journal through the resources below.
  • Google search the journal and look at the Editorial guidelines, which should always specify the peer review process.
John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300