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Firebaugh Scholars: Finding Articles

Spring 2017

Article Databases

Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic.  The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.

1.  Think about which academic disciplines might write about your topic.  Examples:  literature, film, anthropology, history...

2.  Find the appropriate article database by subject (academic discipline or department).  Look for "Recommended" databases.

Library home > click on Databases, then click on:  Browse Databases. 

Pull down the "All Subjects" menu to browse a list of databases by academic discipline, and/or pull down the "All Database Types" to browse lists by type of database (article databases, statistical databases, image databases, etc.).

Examples of Article Databases

Sample Searches - Article Databases

ProQuest Social Sciences - multiple social science databases

Library home > Databases:  Browse All Databases > pull down Subject:  Ethnic Studies > ProQuest Social Sciences

1.  keywords search;truncation; quotes (phrases); alternative terms

stress" (anywhere)
impulsiv* (anywhere)
income or socioeconomic* or "social class*" (anywhere)

* = wildcard/truncation (child* = child, childs children, childhood, childish...)

quotes = phrase searching (those words together in that order)

2.  another keyword search; using official subject terms or descriptors - to narrow search results down to items that are really about that subject; also, use alternative terms

stress" (subject)
impulsiv* (subject)
income or socioeconomic* or "social class*" (anywhere)


3,  eliminate full text searching (esp with common terms like these)

undocumented (all but full text)
student (all but full text)
activis*  (all but full text)


Specialized features of subject databases:

PsycInfo - psychology

Library home > Databases:  Browse all Databases > pull down the subject menu to Psychology; pull down the "all database types" menu to "articles" > PsycInfo

gay* or lesbian* or transgender* or bisexual* (subject)

on the left sidebar, choose Classification > More options:  Research Methods and Experimental Design (apply)

not enough results?  take out a term:


try a more specific term:

compton  (select a field - optional)
california  (select a field - optional)

Search Results

  • click on the title to see full record (including abstracts and descriptors)
  • to limit by publication type (peer-reviewed journals, conferences, books, etc.) click on the appropriate tab or link
  • if necessary,look for other limits (latest update, journal articles only, english only) and more advanced searches
  • select records to save to your personalized list; lists may be e-mailed, downloaded, printed

UC-eLinks - Find Article Text/Location

Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use UC-eLinks orange logo to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database is a bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the Uc-eLinks icon click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:

UC e-Links image

For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.

About JSTOR!

Library home > Articles > General Article Databases > JSTOR

Everyone Loves JSTOR:

  • interdisciplinary
  • scholarly
  • full text available AND searchable - you may find topics you won't find elsewhere because they're only part of an article on a related topic
  • covers journals from their earliest publication dates


  • DOES NOT INCLUDE THE LAST 3-5 YEARS of a journal!  not good for contemporary topics!
  • doesn't include as many journals in a particular discipline as the discipline-specific database (example: MLA Bibliography for literature)
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