1. Define your topic. To find articles on your topic, think of your key concepts.
2. Choose a database. From the Libraries home page click on Subject Guides. Choose the topic that is closest to the subject of your research. Each subject guide will include a list of recommended article databases in the left-hand column. Additional databases are listed below. If you are unsure where to begin, a librarian will be happy to help you get started.
3. Do a search on your topic. When you search the database, use the key concepts you chose in step 1 and skip words like the, a, an, of, who, etc. For example, "welfare and dropout rate" is a better search than "relationship between welfare and the dropout rate".
4. Refine your search. Keep your eyes open for other terms you may want to search. A good place to look for alternate terms is in the descriptor or subject heading area. (You may also want to try a different database.)
5. Finding the article. (See text description or flowchart below.)
- First look to see if the article is full-text in the database. If it is,
click on the link and e-mail, save, or download it.
- If the article isn't full-text, look for the button and click on it.
- If the article has electronic full-text through some other database, a link to that database will appear.
- If no full-text links appear, a link to check the library catalog (Minerva) for a paper copy of the article will be present.
- If the library catalog shows that we do not subscribe to the title, click on
the Interlibrary loan link (via Illiad) and login (or create an account if you
don't already have one). The citation information will already be filled in for
- If there is no button,
you can check the following sources (which are all linked from the Libraries'
homepage) to see if the library subscribes to the journal. [NOTE: remember to
search for the journal title, not the article title or author.]