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Finding Articles: Home

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 350 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 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.

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. 

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 tablets    (allows a search to exclude a term)
(anorexia OR bulimia) AND teenagers    (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!

Get it! is a system that searches though the library's database and journal subscriptions to help researchers quickly connect to full-text articles.

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.  Usually, clicking Get It! will bring you directly to the article.

If Get it! cannot locate a full-text copy of the article or an electronic subscription to the journal that published the article, you will see the following message:

Sorry, the Library does not have an online copy of this article or journal. Use DELCAT Discovery below to search for this journal in print.

Additional options for finding full text:

  • Check DELCAT: Search by Title OR Search by ISSN
  • If not held by the University of Delaware Library: Request a copy through Interlibrary Loan
  • Need Help? Use Ask The Library


The best next step is to use the DELCAT Discovery links to search for the journal by title or ISSN to determine if the Library has this journal in print in the library for the year in which your article was published. If you have a valid University of Delaware ID card and are eligible to register for Interlibrary Loan privileges, you may request a scanned copy of the article from the Library's Article DELivery Service.

If you have searched DELCAT Discovery and find that the Library doesn't have the journal containing your article, you can use the link to Interlibrary Loan to request that the article be delivered to you from another library.

For more information, see the Library’s video tutorial for using Get It!

Subject Guide

Lauren Wallis's picture
Lauren Wallis
First Year Experience and Student Success Librarian, Reference and Instructional Services Department