How do I find a journal article on my topic?

Decide on a database

First, decide which database to use. If your professor or a librarian has suggested a particular database, look for it in the alphabetical list of research databases. Or, get ideas by looking at the list of research databases organized by subject. For general topics, you might try Academic OneFileAcademic Search Premier, or Expanded Academic Index.

Search the database

The first screen you see generally allows a keyword search. You can choose "Advanced Search" to do other kinds of searches. If you are combining keywords, remember to connect them with "and." If you start with a keyword search, many databases offer suggested subject terms to narrow your search. Select the title of an article that seems relevant. Look at the subject suggestions on the left. Select the appropriate subject term to add that as a limit on your search.

Locate the full-text

When you get the results from a search in a database, some articles may be available full-text either as an HTML file (a webpage), or as a PDF (Portable Document Format, an image of each page as it was printed originally).

If neither of those is available for an article of interest, there may be an option to "Search for Article." This looks for the full-text of the article in the other databases we subscribe to and the Castleton University Library's holdings. After you select "Search for Article," on the next screen, select “Article” if it's available. Otherwise, select "Journal" if that's available. This takes you to the online catalog to check the holdings for that journal. The journal or magazine issue you want may be available in print ("Periodical Collection") or on microfilm ("Microfilm Collection") or microfiche ("Microfiche Collection"). Print periodicals are either with the current periodicals or the back periodicals, in alphabetical order. Ask for help locating the microfilm or microfiche.

If you still only have a citation to the article of interest (or a citation and abstract) and not the entire article:

Open another window and select Journal Holdings List and type in the title of the periodical where the article was published. Pay attention to the date of the article you'd like to find when you check the information in the "Journal Holdings List." Your article might be available in full-text through another database or in "Castleton Print Holdings." If you select "Castleton Print Holdings," you will find out where to locate the journal in the Castleton Library. The journal or magazine issue you want may be available in print ("Periodical Collection") or on microfilm ("Microfilm Collection") or microfiche ("Microfiche Collection"). Print periodicals are either with the current periodicals or the back periodicals, in alphabetical order. Ask for help locating the microfilm or microfiche.

Request through interlibrary loan

If the article is not available full-text through another database or in Castleton's holdings, you can select Request an Article and copy and paste the citation to request the article through interlibrary loan. Follow the instructions on that page. You will receive an email when the article is available.

Get help

Of course, at any point you can ask for help from a librarian. Visit the reference desk or call 468-1257 during the hours it is staffed. If you have a question, you can also ask it online.