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Research Toolkit: Find Articles - The Basics

 Related guides: Find a Scholarly, Peer Reviewed Article

 

Once you have a developed topic and good collection of keywords, you are ready to begin searching. If you're searching for articles, there are a few options for finding them. Check them out below.

Now, let the searching begin!

 

Strategy 1: Find Articles with in Database

 

Choose a Database

Articles live in databases and you can find them with keyword searching (more on that in a moment). On our A-Z Databases page, you can find databases by Subject or Type, Search for a specific database, or Scroll through the alphabetical list.

A-Z Database page can be narrowed by subject, type, searched or scrolled

Pro Tip: Don't limit yourself to one database. If you search multiple databases, you'll find more articles.

 

Enter Your Keywords

Once you've opened a database you want to try, type your keywords into the search box. If you have more than one keyword or phrase to search, using the advanced search is your best bet. Don't worry - this won't make it harder. You'll have more options to tell the database what you're looking for. 

keywords entered nto boxes of advanced search

Pro Tip: Type keywords into separate search boxes to specify what you're looking for. Try different combinations of keywords for different results.

 

Use Limiters

Limiters are available in most databases, and help you tell the database exactly what you're looking for. They may look different from one database to another, but they work the same way, and usually are located along the side or top of the results page. Some limiters are on the initial search page.

Here are a few commonly used limiters:

  • Full-text - tells the database you only want full articles, not summaries or abstracts.
  • Scholarly/Peer Reviewed - tells the database you only want scholarly or peer reviewed articles. 
  • Date - tells the database that you want articles from a specific date range. This is helpful when you are looking for recent articles.

 

Viewing, Printing, and Emailing Articles

You can view an article by clicking on the title of the article in the results list. Some articles are available as a PDF; look for a link on the side of the page to open the PDF article. Once you view the PDF article, there are options for printing, emailing, and citation tools on the side of the page. Here are two examples:

Ebsco databases feature tools for citing, printing, emailing and more located on the right

ProQuest databases feature tools for citing, printing, emailing and more located near the top

Strategy 2: Find Articles Using Library OneSearch

 

Library OneSearch is where you can search for articles, books, videos, and documents all in one place.  Find Library OneSearch on the Library website. Arrow pointing to Library OneSearch on Library homepage

Pro Tip: OneSearch includes resources from many databases, so you'll get a lot of results when searching there. It's a powerful tool that takes a bit of practice, so try out different options to learn what works best for your search.

Use Keywords

Type your keywords into the search box. Start with a short and simple search. You can always add more keywords and limiters later. If you use the advanced search, you'll have more options for customizing your search from the start.

Review your search results

Look through the titles in the results to see if you are on the right track. You can view article summaries by clicking on the article title. 

Refine your search

Using limiters in the left column, and by adding more keywords if needed. 

 

Here are a few commonly used limiters:

  • Full-text - tells the database you only want full articles, not summaries or abstracts.
  • Scholarly/Peer Reviewed - tells the database you only want scholarly or peer reviewed articles. 
  • Date - tells the database that you want articles from a specific date range. This is helpful when you are looking for recent articles.

Strategy 3: Find Articles Using Google Scholar

 

Connect Google Scholar to K's Library to access articles for free

Before you search Google Scholar, you must select preferences in the settings menu. Once you set and save your preferences, you will be able to link to K's Library resources when searching Google Scholar .

1. Click the three bars to open the menu on the Google Scholar page.

arrow pointing to hamburger menu

2. Open Settings Arrow pointing at Google Scholar Settings Menu

3. Click Library links

Arrow to Library Links

4. Type "Kalamazoo College" into the search box and click the search icon.

Type in "Kalamazoo College"

5. Check all of the Kalamazoo College & WorldCat boxes. Then click Save.

All library boxes checked

6. Now you're ready to search. In the search results, look for Kalamazoo College full-text links. (Note: Sometimes the link is labeled with the database name and not the library name - if you see a "Get it @ K College" link on the right side of the page, you should have full-text access).

Get it @ K access point highlighted

7. If you are off-campus and trying to access library articles, you need to enter your K College username and password.


 

Making Google Scholar Work for You

1. Why does the "Get it @ K College" link appear next to some sources and not others? 
Google Scholar displays this link after comparing the source to our list of database subscriptions; Google Scholar cannot match an incomplete source citation. If the source is not available for free on the web, then search Library OneSearch to see if K's Library owns it. Google Scholar does not know whether we have the source in a print version.

2. Is everything in Google Scholar free?
No. Google Scholar includes many sources that link directly to the publishers' websites, and most charge a fee for access. However, K's Library subscribes to many of the same or similar resources that can be accessed in Library OneSearch.

4. How comprehensive is Google Scholar? What does it search?
Google Scholar searches publishers' websites for sources, open access materials, and some of the same resources that K's Library subscribes to. Remember that Google Scholar searches only a fraction of the published scholarly literature. Use library resources like Library OneSearch and specific library databases to find a greater number of full-text sources.

5. In Google Scholar, how do I search by author? Limit to certain publications? Limit to specific dates?
Use Advanced Search (found in the hamburger menu) which offers author, publication and date range searching.

Google Scholar Advanced Search highlighted