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Because research in Cultural Studies tends to cross disciplinary boundaries, many of the recommended databases are multidisciplinary or are offered by companies that allow the ability to search across disciplinary databases. Based on this determination, the following databases are listed in order of how relevant they may be for research in Cultural Studies. To find more disciplinary databases, browse the full list of databases at UBC by subject.
Also check the Journals box on this page (below). There is a lot of overlap between searching in databases and searching in journals, so you may see some of the same articles appear in multiple places.
Academic Search Complete This link opens in a new window
A scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database providing indexing and abstracts for thousands of journals and other publications.
Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science) This link opens in a new window
Multidisciplinary index. Can be used to determine where and how many times an article has been cited.
MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association) This link opens in a new window
The MLA International Bibliography is the core database for English language and literature.
Sociology Collection This link opens in a new window
Includes Sociological Abstracts, Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA), and full text from the journals included in Sociology Database.
LGBTQ+ Source This link opens in a new window
The premier resource to the world's literature regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues.
Alternative Press Index (EBSCO) This link opens in a new window
Alternative Press Index (API) is a bibliographic database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles from over 300 international alternative, radical, and left periodicals
iPortal : Indigenous Studies Portal This link opens in a new window
The Indigenous Studies Portal (iPortal) has over 25,000 records describing electronic resources: books, articles, theses, documents, photos, archival resources, and maps relevant to Indigenous studies and communities.
PsycInfo (includes full text from PsycArticles) This link opens in a new window
Covers psychology and the psychological aspects of various other disciplines. Contains citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, and technical reports, as well as citations to dissertations.
GreenFILE This link opens in a new window
Approximately 300,000 articles on green issues, including green building, global warming, etc.
Popular Music Studies Database
This database stems from a major bibliographic collection originally set up by Philip Tagg (University of Montreal), one of the most influential scholars of popular music studies. Tagg’s purpose was to create a research tool, which could be used by anyone – researchers, students, and musicians – interested in popular music, a field that has steadily grown in recent decades, as demonstrated by the impressive number of studies published in books, conference proceedings, and journals.
Canadian Business & Current Affairs (CBCA) This link opens in a new window
Includes journals, magazines, and newspapers published in Canada in the fields of business, current events, education and general reference.
FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals This link opens in a new window
Indexes more than 300,000 articles from 300 of the world's foremost academic and popular film journals, dating from 1972 onward.
Oxford Reference Online This link opens in a new window
Over 300 key Oxford University Press dictionaries and other reference works. Multidisciplinary.
Google Scholar This link opens in a new window
World's largest academic search engine providing free searching to a full range of scholarly literature (ie. peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, pre-prints, abstracts, technical reports).
UBC Library subscribes to several Journals that cover the areas included in Cultural Studies. Below are some of the Journals that may be most useful for your research. For a more comprehensive list of Cultural Studies journals read this blog post of journal titles from the Cultural Studies Reading Group at McMaster University. A list of international journal titles may be found here. You can also browse journals at UBC Library by clicking on the appropriate subjects on this page.
Also check the Databases box on this page (above). There is a lot of overlap between searching in databases and searching in journals, so you may see some of the same articles appear in multiple places.
An international journal which explores the relation between cultural practices, everyday life, material, economic, political, geographical and historical contexts.
Film Criticism is a peer-reviewed, online publication bringing together scholarship in the field of cinema and media studies since 1975.
International Journal of Cultural Studies
Promoting theoretical, empirical and historical research representative of international perspectives on cultural and media developments across the globe it explores the globalisation of the field and the study of the impact of globalisation on local cultural practices and media ecologies.
Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies
An interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal operating at the crossroads of contemporary work in the humanities and social sciences, including but not limited to the research, theory and politics involved in colonialism, cultural theory, and indigeneity.
The Journal of Popular Culture
A peer-reviewed journal and the official publication of the Popular Culture Association.
Journal of Popular Music Studies
Features work on popular music in its historical, cultural, aesthetic, and political registers. Also concerned with such issues as popular music’s intersections with other arts, its relationships with old and new media, and its status as a field of research and critical writing.
Media, Culture, Society
Provides a major peer-reviewed, international forum for research and discussion on the media, including the newer information and communication technologies, within their political, economic, cultural and historical contexts.
A refereed open access journal that publishes articles, book reviews, interviews, poetry and fiction on postcolonial, transnational, and indigenous themes.
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
Publishes pathbreaking articles, review essays, comparative perspectives, and retrospectives of interdisciplinary interest addressing gender, race, culture, class, nation, and sexuality. Whether critical, theoretical, or empirical, articles published in Signs generate theories, concepts, analytical categories, and methodological innovations that enable new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing, and new ways of living.
TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies
TOPIA provides a venue for critical research in cultural studies in Canada and beyond. The journal publishes original research and theoretical essays on culture that are accessible to a wide readership in the humanities and social sciences, along with critical clusters, offerings, and book reviews.
The key to effective research is to experiment with lots of different strategies and figure out what works best, both for you as a researcher and for the resource you're using. Most databases work best with keyword searching, as opposed to searching for a phrase or a sentence. Pick out the most important, or defining, words from the topic you're interested in or the question you are asking and search for articles using those words. Try a combination of different keywords, synonyms for your keywords, and jargon or technical terms that may be relevant to your discipline.
Most databases will offer you filters to narrow your list of results down to scholarly or peer-reviewed works, by publication date, or by type of resource (journal article, book review, citation, etc.). Filters can be useful to make sure you're finding the type of resource you need or to help make a long list of search results more manageable to go through.
The library has a number of detailed guides with instructions for doing research in various resources. Some of the guides that may be useful to you are:
Using EBSCO Databases
Several of the databases listed here are hosted on the EBSCO platform, and can be searched simultaneously by selecting a few boxes on the advanced search page. Click through to any one of those databases and then click the link, just above the search box, that says Choose Databases. From the pop-up list, select the databases you want to search, click OK, and then run your search as usual.