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Research: Step by Step

Find Articles

Your instructor may have asked you to use scholarly articles for your assignment. A scholarly article is an article published in a peer-reviewed journal (where other scholars review the information before it can be published). 

You can find scholarly articles by using our library databases. Not sure which to use? The databases page has options will let you narrow down based on subject.

Academic Search Complete is always a great database to start with, because it collects articles in every scholarly area. But be sure to try out other databases too, because they may have that perfect article.

To search a database, use the same keywords you created in step 2. Most databases, like Academic Search Complete, will have a sidebar on the results page to help you narrow down the results. Try out these:

  • Full Text: Selecting this button will limit your results to only articles that you can read in full. It's always good to click this button first. Find a perfect article that isn't available in full text? Let us know and we will get it via Interlibrary Loan
  • Scholarly (Peer Reviewed): Selecting this button will return only articles that have been through that peer review process. Look at the assignment instructions and see if your professor is requiring you to only use scholarly articles.
  • Publication Date: Using the publication date slider will let you narrow down based on the date of publication. It's generally a good idea to search for articles from the past 10 years. If you're doing research in a field that changes rapidly (such as health), consider narrowing it down to the past 5 years. Check your assignment to see if your instructor has specific requirements for date.
  • Source Type: Using the options here will let you choose the type of source the articles come from (academic journal, newspaper, magazine).

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Once you've completed this, it's time for Step 5: Evaluate Your Sources.