Answered By: Joe Bond
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2018     Views: 260

To find articles on a topic, search in one of our databases, which have articles from newspapers, magazines and journals, including scholarly/academic journals. If not in the Library, you will need an active Library Card. To get started:

  1. Go to the Virtual Library: Research & Databases.

  2. Choose a Subject that matches your topic.

    Not sure where to start?

  3. After choosing a database, click Log In and enter your Library Card number if prompted.
  4. At this point, databases will look different but most function similarly. If you see only a single search box, you may want to click Advanced Search to see more options, which may include limiters like:

    Full text – see only content that you can read in full

    Scholarly/peer reviewed – limit to peer-reviewed articles 
    Date – newer content is usually best
    Format – useful if you want a certain kind

      Examples of limiters. Full Text with check box checked; Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals with checkbox checked.

  5. Enter search terms that capture the main concepts of your topic. If you have more than one box, enter terms in separate boxes with AND in the drop-down menu:

  6. Click Search. Results will appear. Click the titles to learn more about the articles. Click PDF Full Text or HTML Full Text to read the full articles. You can also download, print or email articles.

    No results? Try different or broader search terms. For this example:

    "Call of Duty Black Ops 3" is too specific. Using the broader term video games is better.

    Too many results? Use narrower search terms or add a new concept to your search.

    video games AND effects = too broad, giving too many results. What kind of effects are you interested in? Aggression? Violence? Empathy? Memory? On children with autism?  

    Decent results but want more? Look at your results for inspiration to change your search terms, especially any you see that are noted as Subjects or Subject terms. For example, articles about video games and empathy may inspire you to search for:

    video games AND prosocial​
    video games AND social skills
    video games AND civics 


For help, Ask a Librarian! We can recommend databases and search strategies to get you started.