How to find articles and databases: Finding Articles

Help finding articles

Before you can search for articles you must choose which database to search.

Find the best database(s) for your research topic:

  1. General article databases are a good place to start since they include both popular and scholarly journal titles covering numerous disciplines. Simply choose one of those databases and type in your keywords to begin to find articles.

  2. Browse for databases by subject (such as EconomicsElectrical Engineering, or Art History) if you want to dig deeper into resources covering a specific discipline. If you aren’t sure what subject to choose, look for the academic department that your class is listed under. Once you’ve chosen a subject, search for your topic in one or two of the recommended databases that are listed on the top of the subject list.

  3. Browse for databases by type if you want to find other kinds of formats, such as encyclopedias, newspapers, government information sources, statistics, maps, images and more.

If you have an article citation:

  • The Citation Linker will look across various databases to find whether or not we have access to the article online or in a journal on the library shelves. You need a journal title and publication date to use the Citation linker. If you don’t have that information try Googling the article title and author name.

Common questions

Is there one search box I can use to search all databases to find articles on my topic?
Unfortunately, not yet, but The Library is working hard to launch a single search box that will allow you to search across databases for articles (and possibly more). Our goal is to have this available in Fall 2015.

Can’t I search for articles in OskiCat?
No. OskiCat, the UC Berkeley library catalog can not find articles in journals. You can search for journal titles in OskiCat, and you will find whether we have access to a journal in print on the shelves or online, but OskiCat has no information regarding the articles that are published inside of those journals.

Can’t I search for articles in Melvyl?
Yes, you can find some articles in Melvyl, which also contains records for books and other materials in all of the UC Libraries. Unfortunately, Melvyl only contains a fraction of the article content that we license at UC Berkeley and if you rely solely on Melvyl for your research you will will miss out on a lot of important article content. Indeed, some of the most important databases for research in specific disciplines are not available via Melvyl.

Why can’t I just Google articles or use JSTOR?
The article databases available to you in the library provide many more scholarly articles than you can find via Google. JSTOR is also limited in the number of journals it covers, and does not contain articles published in the most recent 5 years. The bottom line? Search scholarly article databases to compile an excellent bibliography.

If I can’t find the information I need, who can help me?
We can help you locate all of the information you need. Stop at the reference desk in person at most libraries on campus or take a look at our other Research Help options, including 24/7 chat.

Research help

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