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Searching information

Choosing information sources

Choosing information sources is influenced by the subject. It is worthwhile to start searching information from several different sources. Knowing the essential information sources in your field is beneficial, you can find them, for example, in Subject guides.

Books, journals, encyclopedia, standards, statistics, laws, patents. In printed and electronic format. Different databases, online resources, experts. There are many information sources.

Disciplines differ in publication cultures and practices. So-called "hard sciences" focus on international refereed journals, while national books and journals are more important for humanities and social sciences.

Choosing and finding the appropriate sources for your need is crucial, as well as learning to use the key databases in your field. However, bear in mind that it is sometimes possible to find relevant information in sources which are not directly related to your field!

University of Vaasa e-resources

Finna Search

Journal Search in Finna

All the printed and digital journals in the library's collections can be found in Finna. Search with the journals name or ISSN number.

Finna Article Search

Article Search in Finna

Finna's Search for Articles searches for international articles, e-books and peer-reviewed research publications from various publishers.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search engine, which indexes data of scholarly literature online. The search results include research publications, conference papers, books, abstracts, articles published by academic publishers, and other organizations.

Finna Database Search


Finna's article search or Google Scholar don't fully cover all the articles and materials. All comprehensive searches should always be done also in database's own user interfaces. Links to the databases in LibGuides and Finna.

Stages of information searching

Different types of databases

Full text databases include articles in full text, as well as references.

Bibliographic databases include references to where the article has been published, and possibly an abstract. The article is not necessary included in full text, which means that you have to search it elsewhere.

Citation databases include citations between articles: who has cited the article and how many times has it been cited in all.

Note! Most databases are hybrids between full text and bibliographic databases. Some journals/articles in the database are available in full text but not all.

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