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Research Tools and Guides

Use online tools at the Libraries to further your research.

Research tools

Familiarize yourself with online tools for conducting research.

Search tools and collection discovery

Find a specific item or source, such as a database or journal.

  • NUsearch searches our collection for books, journals, images, articles and multimedia. Items can be placed on hold or requested via NUsearch.
  • Databases A-Z lists all Northwestern Libraries databases. Search the list or filter it by database subject, type or vendor.
  • Journals A-Z lists all Northwestern Libraries journals. The list of journals is searchable. 
  • Search other libraries to find items not in the Northwestern collection. Items may be requested via interlibrary loan and delivered to Northwestern. 
  • Consensus (beta) is an academic search engine that uses artificial intelligence to surface relevant research findings to students' questions.
  • Geographic Information System Resources offers software, online tools and more.
  • Social Science Data Resources has comprehensive sorted lists of statistics and data resources by subject.
  • Northwestern Libraries Search Assistant is a browser add-on to search Northwestern’s Collections, Google Scholar, and other libraries from anywhere on the web. Now available to as an extension to Google Chrome or as an extension to Mozilla Firefox.
  • Libkey Nomad  is a browser extension that enables one-click access to full text of articles from publisher pages, PubMed, Google, Wikipedia, and more, with no need to start at the library website. If direct access is not available, it automatically loads and fills out the Interlibrary Loan request form for you. Set your institution to Northwestern University in the extension settings. 

Research Guides

  • Research Guides are prepared by our subject librarians  across disciplines and can include recommended search engines, publications and course information. 
  • How To Guides instruct patrons on how to use library tools and resources.
  • Reference Materials is a compilation of links to online reference materials -- including encyclopedias, database and more -- as well as information about print reference materials at the library.
  • Video Tutorials provide quick tips on generating keywords, finding materials, using interlibrary loan and more.