As a USCB student or faculty member, you have several ways to access printed or online, full-text articles.
Where to find articles:
Using the Library Catalog and Research Guides
If you’re not sure where to start your search, try browsing our Research Guides (LibGuides) in your subject area or discipline. Each guide includes a listing of recommended databases and journals for that subject.
If you have a citation:
If you know exactly which article you need, and have a full citation available (listing the authors, title of the article, the journal or location where it was published, year, and volume/page numbers), you can search Full Text Finder for the journal title (not the title of the article) to see if we have online, full-text access.
If you can’t find the journal title in Full Text Finder, you can place an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request for the article using the same citation information.
How to find articles
Now that you know where to go, how do you search for and narrow down your results?
- Starting with your thesis statement or research question, pick out the key words and concepts for which you want more information. Here’s an example question:
“What are the long-term health effects on children of smoking during pregnancy?”Instead of entering this entire question into the database or journal’s search option, pick out some words. “Smoking”, “health”, “children”, and “pregnancy” are the main, big concepts of this question; you could also add “long-term”. Think of synonyms or similar concepts that you might also use in this search (e.g. “infants” instead of “children”).
- Use Boolean operators to limit your search.
The term sounds complicated, but the general idea is simple: use the words AND, OR, or NOT to create a very specific search string. Using the example above:
pregnancy AND smoking AND health AND (children OR infants)
If you were interested in only looking at health effects not related to cancer, use the NOT operator to keep those results from appearing:
pregnancy AND smoking AND health AND children NOT cancer