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BIOL 10, Poffenroth: Finding Articles

Library Databases

Magazine covers

In most of your research, you will be looking for information on a topic rather than for an article from a specific periodical. In this case, start your search by going directly to a library periodical database. A database is simply an organized collection of information, like your contacts list in your smart phone. The library has several databases for finding different types of information. For example, you may have used Credo Reference to find background information on your topic and the library catalog to find books. The library also has several databases that provide access to full-text articles from a huge selection of magazines, journals, and/or newspapers.

Start your search for articles with a general database such as Academic Search Complete, which provides articles from popular magazines and scholarly journals on many subject areas. Then, find articles from specialized subject article databases. You can use the A-Z Database List to sort databases by subject. If you are off campus, you will see a login page prompting you to enter your student ID and password.

Most of the databases provide many of the same features including:

  • searching by keyword
  • advanced searching by subject, periodical title, author, date, etc.
  • PDF copies of the scanned full-text
  • printing, emailing, and saving articles
  • embedded citation tools

Peer Reviewed Articles

When you're searching in one of our online databases, it's easy to limit your search to peer-reviewed journals. For example, in Academic Search Complete, there's an option on the main search page under "Limit your results" to limit the search to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals:

Peer Review check-box

You can also limit your results after you've done a search by clicking the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals box in the left margin next to the results:

Peer Review check-box

Keep in mind that not everything appearing in a peer-reviewed journal is a peer-reviewed article; there are also book reviews, editorials, etc.

Health & Medicine Databases

Multi-Disciplinary Databases, including Medicine

Find a Specific Journal

If you want to find a specific journal, or have a citation already and want to find out if the article is available at Foothill, use the Find Journals in OneSearch to search by journal title or ISSN (International Standard Serial Number). This will show you whether we have the journal available either in the library or electronically. You can also Browse Journals by Category.