Different search tools allow you to find the information you need.

Here are two we recommend:


Provides access to most of the library’s resources, including print and electronic materials such as books, e-books, journals, journal articles, government reports and more. Omni does not provide access to everything. If you a completing a comprehensive search, you should use databases.

Library databases

  • Think of databases as online searchable collections of journal articles and abstracts.
  • Library databases often include resources other than scholarly articles, such as conference proceedings, magazine articles, newspapers and more.

They can be either multidisciplinary or subject-specific. Given the difference, how do you choose?

If you’re starting a search, you may want to try a multidisciplinary database. They cover a wider range of topics. Some examples include:

  • Academic Search Complete
  • Scopus
  • Web of Science

If you want to search a subject-specific database, identify the broad subject area of your topic. For example, if you want to do a search on sea level rise and climate change, the broad subject area could be either earth sciences or environmental sciences.

  • To determine which database to search, look at the uOttawa library research guide (see below) for the broad subject area and search the key databases that are listed.

Library research guides

Our librarians have created research guides that contain information on research in a specific subject area. These guides highlight the important databases in your discipline, as well as book collections, sources of statistical information and more.

Research guides

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