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Journal Articles   Tags: how_to_guide  

Suggestions for choosing a research database, accessing the full-text of articles, and searching databases.
Last Updated: Mar 15, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Articles and Databases Print Page

Using Research Databases to Find Articles

When searching for journal articles, first try the library's Research Databases.  If you're not sure which database to use, see the suggestions in this guide.


Interdisciplinary Databases

In addition to searching a subject-specific database, try one of our interdisciplinary databases.

A good place to start is the interdisciplinary database Academic OneFile:


Google Scholar

If you would like to use a familiar interface, another option is Google Scholar:
Google Scholar

Looking for Full-Text?

For access to the full-text of an article (either in print or online), look for and click on the icon. This will open another window indicating where and how we may have access through Hekman Library.

Research Databases by Subject

Find the best research databases by subject:


Advanced Searching in the Databases

Research databases use controlled vocabularies for subject searching.  Sometimes these terms are called "descriptors."

  • Keyword searching is a good way to start searching a database. Look at the full record and note the subject terms or descriptors assigned to the article when you find something on your topic.
  • Use these terms for a subject search to find other articles on your topic.
  • Research databases are quite sophisticated and have a variety of fields that can be used for searching. Many allow you to limit your searches to peer-reviewed journals, for example.
  • Watch for special features such as:
    • An option to mark articles and then email or print a list of marked records to yourself.
    • Citation help (many will now automatically generate the citation for you).

Finding Scholarly Articles

Want to make sure your articles are from academic journals?  Check out our guide for finding Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Articles.

Hekman Library

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Research Librarians
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Contact Info
Research Assistance Service, Summer 2014:
Online and on-call. Ask at the 2nd floor Circulation Desk if you need assistance from a librarian.

Phone: (616) 396-6307
Text: (616) 214-3355

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