How to Find Journal Articles

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If you are doing research on a particular subject, whether for school or other reasons, you may decide that you need to examine some journal articles on the subject. But these days, if you visit a library, you will find that most of them (even major university libraries) are cancelling their hard print subscriptions to many of their journals because of budget cuts and the increasing cost of the subscriptions. Fortunately, they are replacing this with online journal services that can provide not just current journals, but collections going back (in some cases) decades.

1 How to Find Journal Articles

2 Visit your local library

Visit your local library and see if they have access to online journals and, if they do, which ones. If you are a student, visit your university library. Some universities allow access to alumni and researchers. An increasing number of scholarly articles are on Google Scholar. Simply type "Google Scholar" in your search engine. After you access Google Scholar, type your search words. You will find some full text versions as well as abstracts.

3 Take along a photo ID

Take along a photo ID as you may need to get a library card to access the journals. Remember to ask if patrons can get a password that allows them access from their homes.

4 Try to limit the search

Try to limit the search to “full text” articles in any sources you look at as abstracts and reviews probably won’t help you. Also, use keywords sparingly, since just throwing everything in will get you a lot of things you have no interest in.

5 Go through the library's available sources

Go through the library's available sources. If you are looking for general information articles of the news magazine type, you should check out ProQuest, which is a good supplier of popular titles.

6 Look for more academic articles

Look for more academic articles (the kind a professor might write) in sources such as JSTOR and Project Muse. JSTOR covers a broad range of art, literature and science journals. Project Muse covers similar topics, though perhaps leaning more toward the social sciences and culture.

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.