finding sources / search engines

As well as narrowing your research question(s) and evaluating sources you find, you need to look in the right places. In research terms, this means you should:

  1. search in appropriate databases / search engines
  2. build search queries and apply search limiters to refine results

Appropriate search engines

There are two general types of search engine:

  1. general / non-specialist (e.g.,,, etc.) These may be useful when searching for reference sources (such as dictionaries and encyclopedias) and possibly primary sources (such as image or newspaper archives).
  2. academic / specialist (e.g., Bilkent Library “Quick Search,” google scholar). These will help you in find appropriately scholarly secondary sources (see also finding reputable sources). Because you are engaged in scholarly research, you should prefer sources you find here.

Scholarly databases / repositories

In addition, there are various internet repositories and databases of scholarly materials (e.g., EBSCO host or JSTOR).

  • Bilkent library subscribes to many of these repositories so you don’t have to pay. You can locate these resources at > finding resources > databases by title / subject. You will need a Bilkent campus address / VPN to access the resources.
  • Google scholar may link you to websites which ask you to pay for resources. Always check with the Bilkent library if the resource is available or can be trialed/purchased for you before you pay anything!


  • If you find a result in a search that you cannot link to, try clicking on “full text locator” or alternatively google the journal / publisher / title. You may be able to get access through another service.