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Library Tech Tip: The LIRN Databases


On the EU library site, the left-hand column of the big blue box contains a number of article databases which provide reliable information on certain subjects (aviation, construction, energy, etc.). However, what if you are researching a topic that does not fall into one of those subject areas? For example, maybe you are assigned to research Pro and Con viewpoints about a controversial issue; or maybe you want to find critical studies about American Literature, or articles about science, etc.

The LIRN databases are a great option in this case. LIRN (Library Information Resources Network) is a group of scholarly databases that provide articles and e-books on every topic out there. Think of it a bit like shopping at Target instead of at a specialty store.

Although there are a number of icons on the LIRN page, the ones we most highly recommend are the first three: InfoTrac, ProQuest and Elibrary. All three databases are large collections with search interfaces that are straightforward to use. (If you are an online student, you may also find a ProQuest PowerPoint guide located in the ‘Course Resources’ folder in the ‘Start Here’ section of your class’s Course Menu). Below are more details about these three databases:


InfoTrac has a Power Search option which allows you to cross-search all of the InfoTrac subject databases with one search. (There are also some that are not included in the Power Search, however, including the Literature Resource Center and Health and Wellness Resource Center; when you scroll down you’ll see those listed at the bottom, where you can click to search each one individually).


ProQuest features millions of articles from peer-reviewed academic journals, magazines and trade publications. It is an especially good option if you are researching a very specific topic, since due to its huge selection, it will have at least some articles on any topic you can think of. ProQuest has a Google-like search interface that provides all of the sophisticated options of a scholarly database in a straightforward, user-friendly way.


Elibrary includes coverage of selected periodicals, reference books, maps, pictures, and newspapers from around the world, along with transcripts of news and public affairs broadcasts.

 Tip:  When you get to your results lists in these three databases, consider the options in the margins which allow you to narrow results by subject, date, publication type, etc.

“Learning with LIRN” will provide a bunch of great information, all at your fingertips and accessible 24/7! Please let the EU library know if we can assist with using LIRN, or any of our other electronic resources.

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