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Scholarly Research Process Outline: Searching for journal articles

provides pathways to more comprehensive resources.

Searching and navigating in journals to find articles.

Searching for Articles using Concepts

Do not start searching in Google Scholar - even though it does provide free searching of  a selection of the academic journal literature. While these results are more reliable peer-reviewed materials than those found in a basic Google search, you will not have access to all the full-text articles that are available to you through our multidisciplinary Academic Search Complete journal-article aggregator, and the results are not as comprehensive as those found in our subject specific journal indexes

BASIC COVERAGE ACROSS MANY FIELDS

The most convenient way to locate easily available full-text journal articles across many disciplines is to search the aggregator database Academic Search Complete  This database of full-text articles is not comprehensive—it attempts to provide basic coverage of many topics within a database of core journals. For more complete and deeper searching of subjects, see the tools listed below. 

Start your search for articles using keywords. Remember to use synonyms and to refine your initial results using both additional terms and/or the facets (sub-clusters of results by subject terms, date, material type, and so on) on the left side of the results page.  You may also find the Advanced Search options helpful in limiting searches by type of information, type of results, specific populations, and other variables

DEEPER SUBJECT SEARCHING

There are many subject-specific databases that will lead a researcher to journal articles using keywords or subject headings. The best method for comprehensive discovery is to use the most relevant database first, and then supplement the initial search with databases offering either related subject coverage or supplementary navigation and discovery techniques (for example, citation tracking and Find Similar semantic analysis).

Start by identifying one or two key journal-index databases for your subject area from the subject guides created by our subject librarians.

Start your search for articles using keywords. Remember to use synonyms and to refine your initial results using both additional terms and/or the facets (sub-clusters of results by subject terms, date, material type, and so on) on the left side of the results page.  You may also find the Advanced Search options helpful in limiting searches by type of information, type of results, specific populations, and other variables

HINT: Using subject facets removes materials that are irrelevant because of terminology confusion—for example, it would allow a researcher to easily remove plasma-in-physics articles from plasma-in-blood search results

ADVANCED NAVIGATION OPTIONS

Once you have completed your searching in your primary database(s), you may want to expand your searching using

  • related subject databases (from the same list of subject guides found above),
  • multidisciplinary news sources (individual newspapers, clusters of newspapers, TV news broadcasts, etc.), and
  • the Scopus journal index that allows for enhanced discovery using creative techniques such as identifying high impact articles through citation tracking.

STAYING CURRENT

In addition to performing searches at the point-of-need, successful search strategies can be saved and run automatically against new material added to the databases. These Autoalerts will send email results to you whenever a new article matches your search terms. This is a great way to maintain a competitive advantage over those who only occasionally think to search for new publications.


A final technique that may be useful if you are looking for fairly comprehensive searching is to use the search Multiple Databases tool.  This federated search tool performs simultaneous searches across many databases and may help you discover related content in secondary fields or multimedia material not covered in the journal indexes.


NOTE: The Citation Search option allows you to quickly jump to a known item using your citation information.

NOTE: Gold Rush tool ... find where journals are indexed.

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