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PACS 401: Pacific Islands Studies Capstone: Databases, journals, and searching

A library research guide for the Spring 2014 Pacs 401 course

Some basic information

Databases and Journals

Databases – these are created to collect, index, and disseminate articles. These articles may be from newspapers, magazines, journals, or academic journals.

Journals – periodicals which publish academic articles, they contain works by experts in a field of study. Many are peer reviewed, some are not.

Journal articles - take months to publish, usually written by experts on a subject. Peer reviewed journal articles are those that have been reviewed by other experts on a subject, who give comments, advice, and editing before publication.


Magazine articles - written by journalists and published in a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly basis, they may take some time to write, but are usually about current events and ideas. Edited and may be fact checked.


Databases reviewed in class

A broad searching database.  Provides full text for 3,288 scholarly publications covering academic areas of study including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies.
A highly useful database that includes citations for the doctoral and master's work of authors from more than 1,000 graduate schools and universities dating back to 1861. More than 750,000 dissertations and theses from 1997 on have been digitized and are available for PDF download.
JSTOR collections provide full-text journal backfiles in various disciplines. The JSTOR project's primary goal is to build a reliable and comprehensive archive of important scholarly journal literature. Articles are available in subjects such as history, ethnology, anthropology, literature, and much more.


Additional resources

HPJI (Hawaii-Pacific Journal Index)
The Hawaii-Pacific Journal Index (HPJI) is a Voyager Online Catalog citation index to nearly 140 journals published in or about Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. The HPJI covers all subject areas, and includes both peer-reviewed academic journals and "popular press" publications, most of which are not indexed anywhere else. Coverage dates back to the 1890s; all titles indexed are held in the print collections of Hamilton Library's Hawaiian and Pacific Collections.
Link to instrucions on how to use HPJI: Go to box 2.


Google's academic article database. Provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.
Full text access to the local daily newspaper and to itʻs predicessors: The Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser. A good resource for news articles about Pacific Islanders in contemporary Hawaiʻi.

Helpful Research Videos

Below is a video that describes the difference between an academic/scholarly/ journal article and a magazine. 


The video was produced by librarians at Kapiolani Community College