Finding Articles in the Library
Step One: Choose a Database to Help You Search for Articles
Databases are the starting place for finding magazine and journal articles on the subjects you are researching. More than 300 databases are available from computers in the Morris Library and can also be accessed from your dorm or from home if you are a student, faculty, or staff member. Some databases cover general topics; others are specialized and cover one subject area in great depth. Each database indexes different journals in which the articles are published. If you do not know what database to start with, head to the Research Guides page and select a subject that corresponds to your research topic. The guide for the subject you choose will direct you to the best databases for that subject.
If you already know the name of the database you would like to search, you can get to the database directly by searching for the database by name on the Library home page.
Step Two: Search for Articles within the Database
Identify important search terms and concepts. Make a list of key search terms that relate to your topic. Some databases have a thesaurus within the database which will help you identify related and synonymous terms.
Enter search terms and combine them for more effective searching. While databases vary, most of them allow you to use operators AND , OR, and NOT to combine terms. Examples:
|Earthquakes AND Japan||(retrieves items containing both terms)|
|measles OR rubella||(retrieves items containing either term)|
|computers NOT windows||(allows a search to exclude a term)|
|(anorexia OR bulimia) AND college students||(retrieves items containing either of the first terms and the last term)|
Step Three: Review your search results
Excellent key words to use in subsequent searches can be found in the article's abstract and descriptor fields. Using these discovered terms in your search will often improve your results.
Using Get It!
Sometimes databases will contain links to electronic copies of full articles. These are known as "full text" articles. The library has created a system to help researchers connect to full text articles when searching online. This system is called Get It!
Get It! searches though the library's many database and journal subscriptions to connect researchers to the full text of the desired article. When searching in a database that is Get It! -enabled, you will see a small link or button labeled Get It! beneath the article records that are returned by the database. Clicking Get It! will either bring you directly to the article, or will provide the following options:
Clicking on the source beneath "Link(s) to This Article" will bring you directly to the article within another resource such as a database or eJournal. Look for the PDF of the article once directed to the appropriate source.
Clicking on "Link(s) to This Journal" will bring you to the home page of the electronic journal that contains the article that you seek. Once there, you will either be able to search for your article by its title, or look it up by using the volume number, issue number, and year that the article was published.
If there are only links to DELCAT and WorldCat Local, the library probably does not have this journal electronically, but may have it in print. Look in DELCAT to see if the library has the year of the journal that contains your article. You will need to record the call number in order to then find this journal in the library and photocopy the article.
Finally, if Get It! provides you with no links to other sources, this may indicate that the library does not subscribe to the journal that published the article you are seeking. In this case, there is still the option to select "Interlibrary Loan" to request that the article be delivered to you from another library.