I've tried reading several guides on how to search in databases to get the relevant information that I'm seeking, either is my topic hard to find articles on or I guess it doesn't exist many. Anyway I thought I'd give it a shot here to see if you guys could help me get relevant search-results for what I'm searching for.

Basically I have the idea of doing a bachelor degree work on the topic "How is data backups being handled at municipalities?" where I want to get in contact with IT-responsible people working at municipality offices around the region where I live to answer the research question.

The work requires me to find scientific work/ articles that relates to this subject to explore what has been done before me in the area which I wish to study.

How would I go on about finding scientific work/ articles about the subject that I wish to study.

Basically how do I search databases in the most efficient way to find earlier articles relating to my subject?

Any help and advice is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


Searching for articles on a topic is a skill that you get better at over time. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Ask your colleagues in your field which databases they use most commonly. For instance, PubMed targets journals in the biosciences and medical fields. PsychInfo indexes psychology journals, etc.
  2. Google Scholar is a very capable tool, though the scope is typically broader than a more focused search engine.
  3. Using a few articles you already have as starting points, review the reference list and pick out additional articles cited in the work that are of interest, then go read those, then repeat the process. After time, you'll start to have an intuition on the authors, journals, and keywords that help you construct a search.
  4. Use a 'cited by' search - first find a particular article you already have on your topic, then find the articles that cite that article. This can open up further routes for exploration.
  • Thanks for a thorough answer, I think point 3 is the most valuable to me. But seeing as I have trouble finding specific related work to my subject I might have to tweak my area of study/ research question to be able to make use of your tips.
    – Andreas
    Jan 19, 2018 at 19:32
  • @Andreas, This means that either you've found an open area of study, or you just haven't figured out how to find related work. You don't usually change your research question just because you can't find articles. Trust me, the more you read and try to find other articles, the clearer this will become.
    – HEITZ
    Jan 19, 2018 at 19:52
  • Great answer. // I would add: don't neglect to spend some time with a good reference librarian. Jan 20, 2018 at 4:55
  • @HEITZ I understand your point, the thing is at the first examination-seminar you have to provide at least three scientific sources of previous work done on the area of subject (and later more in the study more). If I can't seem to find any related work it won't work to even proceed and then I might have to tweak my area of study so I'll find previous work.
    – Andreas
    Jan 20, 2018 at 13:25

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