When should I use FindMore@NUSL? How does it compare to specialized databases like Pubmed, JSTOR, Scopus etc?
The main strength of FindMore@NUSL is that it combines a google-like search that allows you to search through the bulk of our collection with one search.
As such it can be a good starting point for a quick search to see what is available out there particularly if you are unsure what specialised databases to use for your topic, particularly if this is an area new to you. So rather then run the risk of using inappropriate databases and getting poor results, you can start broadly using FindMore@NUSL and then narrow down to what you need if necessary.
You may also want to try some of the recommended databases it may suggest while searching. Such databases suggested when searched may allow you to find items not in FindMore@NUSL or provide more focused results.
Based on the results you may notice that the relevant results are coming from one or two databases and you can click through to continue your searches in that database.
Even if you are a seasoned researcher, who knows his subject area well and is generally satisified with existing databases and/or prefer to search in a precise way, you can always still give FindMore@NUSL a try just to see if you discover something unexpected. After all, a search in FindMore is quick and easy, so what do you have to lose?
In particular FindMore@NUSL can be used whenever you usually reach for Google Scholar as it is comparable with Google Scholar but showing only items you can access (both free and paid).
Still FindMore@NUSL is not suitable for every task.
- FindMore@NUSL is not 100% comprehensive and does not cover 100% of every database or journal, but is the biggest "one search" of available material (including books and online journal articles) to NUS community.
- Specialised databases for particular topics like PubMed , PsycInfo, EconLit may be suitable for more in-depth discipline searches, due to greater focus without going through lots of potentially irrelevant results, coupled with availability of more advanced features specific to your discipline to provide a more precise, more methodical search, though FindMore@NUSL may shine in cross-disciplinary research.
- Specialised databases or A&I databases (abstract and indexing databases) like PubMed, PsycINFO may provide more advanced search features to control searches (eg ability to search by methodology in PsychInfo) and/may include abstracts of material available in print such as print articles that won't appear in FindMore@NUSL. Though you can get access to results from selected A&I databases by logging before searching.
Firstly, while no other single search covers as much material accessable to you as FindMore@NUSL it still does not cover 100% of every resource or database available because of licensing agreements.
Even if a journal is covered in FindMore@NUSL, it may be matching only on data such as title, author, abstract but not the full-text of the article, so you may still miss out relevant articles compared to searching the online journal homepage directly.
Secondly, while FindMore@NUSL shines in cross disciplinary research as it is not limited to any one discipline, other specialised database sources, A&I databases (abstract and indexing databases) like PubMed, EconLit, PsycInfo etc may provide a more focused search bringing more results relevant to your discipline, while you might find many irrelevant results in FindMore@NUSL, (though you can try restricting by discipline)
Thirdly, depending on your needs, you may find the searching features in FindMore@NUSL lacking compared to the more advanced search features available in specialised databases. For instance, many databases allow you to restrict searches by more specific fields (e.g Business Source Premier allows you to filter to industry profiles, Country reports) and some of the abstract and indexing databases have thesaurus features that you can use to expand or restrict subject heading searches for precise, methodological searches.
So if you are doing a phd thesis where you need to do a comprehensive and methodolocial search as possible, you need to use this with other specialised databases in your discipline to cover as much ground as possible as well as other techniques to find relevant articles.