Use a database (an online index of articles) to help you locate articles for your research paper.
Databases can index all sorts of thinks (Netflix and Spotify are both databases!), but for our purposes today, we'll use them to find journal articles.
Library staff provide an overview to help you get started using online resources for your research:
This is just a selection or databases for health and medicine. Use the A-Z Database list to locate additional databases.
Note: SportDISCUS, Academic Search Complete, and other databases also contain news sources including Sports Illustrated. Use the search filters to select "Newspapers" and "Magazines" under Source Type to limit to just those more popular sources.
Reading the bibliographies of a good article or book can be very helpful. But how do you find one of the sources listed? Look up the part written in italics.
If your citation looks something like the one below, then it's an article. (Hint: You know it's a journal article if you see volume/issue/page #s.)
Morrow, P. ‘‘Those Sick Challenger Jokes.’’ Journal of Popular Culture. 20.4 (1987): 175-84.
-look up the title of the journal in the OneSource Journal Finder (Note: Look up the journal title, which is in italics, not the "article title," which is in "quotation marks.")
-if the journal is available electronically, you can search within the journal itself or click on the "Full Text Access" link, and check if we have access to the year you need
-if the journal is available in print, read the rest of the journal's record to see if we have the volume/issue you need
If your citation looks something like the one below, then it's a book. (Hint: You know it's a book if you see a city and a publisher/press)
Framing Monsters: Fantasy Film and Social Alienation; Bellin, Joshua David; 2005, Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press.
You can't read 100,000 or even 1,000 articles. Refine your searches to limit your results to just the articles you need!
Once you've found one good article, check that article's sources. Learn how to make use of those sources to add to your research:
The words "AND," "OR," and "NOT" can help you make a search more precise. This is called Boolean searching, and it can seem really intimidating, but once you get the hang of them, Boolean searches can really help you!
For example, the search 'films AND psychology NOT children', will return a search with results that contain the keywords 'films' and 'pyschology' but not 'children' - important if you are only looking at adolescent psychology in films.
Learn more with this guide from the MIT libraries. It really helps explain Boolean searching, and you don’t have to be a computer scientist to understand!
The following video also outlines the ways to use advanced search techniques in databases.
Why should you begin your research with the library's homepage? How do I know which database to use? Library staff provide an overview to help you get started using online resources for your research.