Databases are collections of thousands of articles (and often book chapters, book reviews, conference proceedings, dissertations, and other items) organized by subject. The Libraries have hundreds of databases covering every academic discipline. Some are multi-disciplinary, covering a broad range of subjects and including popular and scholarly sources, and others are subject-specific, and include scholarly and specialized articles. A complete list is available at Find Articles.
The following multi-disciplinary databases are good places to start your research:
Google Scholar provides easy access to a lot of full text content paid for by The Library, as well as other scholarly or professional content available freely on the Web. Their Help pages describe more fully what is included in this resource.
With a Google account you can exploit special features in Google Scholar.
Set up a Google Scholar Alert to be automatically notified when new articles are added to Google on topics of interest. Do your search in Google Scholar. Look in the green toolbar for the envelope icon, and click it. New items will be sent to your email account as they are found by Google.
Make Google display links to full text of articles that Berkeley subscribes to. Open Scholar. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner, and choose 'scholar preferences'. In the new window, scroll down to 'Library Links', type the word Berkeley. Choose University of California, Berkeley-- UC eLinks, and Open Worldcat Search.
Ever wanted to trace an article’s impact? Google now permits searching within citing articles. Do a Google Scholar search. Click on the "Cited by" link under a citation and select the "Search within articles citing..." checkbox.