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Education & Music Library

Finding Journal Articles (print & electronic)

Finding journal or newspaper articles involves a few more steps than finding books, but it is always worth the effort.

You will not find individual articles listed in the library catalogue. A journal article database allows you to search the contents of hundreds of different journals at once!  The library subscribes to many databases, some of which are subject specific while others are multi-disciplinary.

All databases will provide citation information (title of the article, article author(s), journal name, volume, issue, pages, etc.). Databases usually provide abstracts/summaries which are very useful in determining the value of the article. The database may also include the full-text of the article, or direct you to the full text in another source. You are able to read online, print, save, or e-mail the article.

Where to Start?

To find out which databases are most appropriate for your topic, begin at the Library home page (http://library.usask.ca) and select the Articles and Databases tab. Using the drop down menu select the subject area that most closely fits your topic.  This choice takes you to a list of databases appropriate for searching.  They are sorted by Best Bets (subject specific) Other Suggestions (multi-disciplinary).

Search Tips:

While article databases have a variety of interfaces, most databases share similar features. To search an article database:

  • Begin at the main search page
  • Enter your keyword(s) or phrase into the search box.  Combine keywords using AND or OR.  You may truncate keyword(s) taking them to their root and adding an asterisk.  This broadens your search, allowing you to search for words with the same root and optional endings. (see below)
AND narrows your searchsaskatchewan and agricultureFinds both terms
OR broadens your searchagriculture or farmingFinds either term
* broadens your searchfarm*Finds farm, farms, farmer, farmers, farming, etc.
  • OnSubmit your search to produce a results list.
  • Review your list examining intersting references and watching for the abstracts/summaries and subject headings. (Subject headings not only give you an idea of what is covered in the article but they may also supply ideas for a future search.)
  • The results list is usually displayed in citation format which includes information critical to producing reference lists for your papers and assigments.
  • To access the full text of an article, look for the following options: pdf full text, html full text, linked full text, etc.  If the article does not seem to be available in full text review the section below.
Getting the Article:

To see if your article is available elsewhere electronically select the findit button.

A new window will open with access information for your article:

"Available online" - the Library has electronic access to your article - click on the GO icon to view the full-text.

"Available in the library" - the Library has a print subscription to your article - the Library location and call number are important for retrieval of the article.

"The U of S Library does not own this item" - the Library does not have access to your article (either print or electronically). You can complete an InterLibrary request if you have time to wait while the article is retrieved off campus.


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