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Research Toolkit: Find Articles - The Basics

Research toolkit to help you learn how to find the information you need.

 Related guides: Find a Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Article

 

Once you are armed with a topic and a good collection of keywords, you are ready to begin your search. If you're in search of articles, there are a few options you have for finding them. Check them out below.

Now, let the searching begin!

 

Strategy 1: Find Articles with a Database

 

 

Try It
 

Choose a Database

Articles live in databases and can be found by doing a search with keywords (more on that in a moment). You have two options for finding databases at WCC:

Pro Tip: Don't limit yourself to one database. Searching multiple databases will give you access to more articles.

Enter Your Keywords

Once you've opened the database you want to use, plug your keywords into the search box. If you have more than one set of keywords to search with, using advanced search is your best bet. Don't worry - this won't make it harder. It will give you more options to tell the database what you're looking for from the get-go. 

Keyword Search

 

Use Limiters

Limiters are available in almost every database and help you tell the database exactly what you're looking for. They may look a little different in each database, but they work the same way and are usually located along the side or the top of the results page. Certain limiters can also be found on the initial search page.

Here are a few commonly used limiters:

  • Full-text - tells the database you only want full articles, not summaries or abstracts.
  • Scholarly/Peer Reviewed - tells the database you only want scholarly or peer reviewed articles. 
  • Date - allows you to tell the database that you only want articles from a certain range of dates. This is helpful if you are looking for only the most recent articles.

Viewing, Printing and Emailing Articles

You can view an article by clicking on the title of the article from the results list. When a PDF of the article is available there is usually a link on the side of the page to open the full article. Once you are viewing the article you wil notice options for printing, emailing, and citation tools on the side of the page. Below are a couple examples of this:

Strategy 2: Find Articles Using OneSearch

 

One Search is Bailey Library's search engine that streamlines searching. You can use it to search for online articles, books, videos and documents all in one place.

Interested in using One Search? One Search is the default search mode on the Bailey Library homepage. It is found under the Search All tab.

Pro Tip: Because One Search pulls resources from many places, you'll end up with a lot of results when you search it. It's a powerful tool that takes a bit of practice, so it's helpful to try out different options to see what works best for your search.

Use Keywords

Type your keywords into the search box. Keep your search short and simple to start. You can always add more keywords and limiters later. You can also start out with advanced search, which gives you more options for customizing your search right away.

Review your search results. The icons on the left will tell you what kind of document you are looking at. Look for clues like title and subjects to see if you are on the right track. You can also view summaries of articles by clicking on the title. 

Refine your search using limiters in the left column and by adding more keywords, if needed. 

Here are a few commonly used limiters:

  • Full-text - tells the database you only want full articles, not summaries or abstracts.
  • Scholarly/Peer Reviewed - tells the database you only want scholarly or peer reviewed articles. 
  • Date - allows you to tell the database that you only want articles from a certain range of dates. This is helpful if you are looking for only the most recent articles.

 

Strategy 3: Find Articles Using Google Scholar

 

How do I access Bailey Library's licensed copies of articles that I find via Google Scholar?

Before you search Google Scholar, you must select preferences in the settings menu. Once you set and save your preferences, you will be able to link to library resources retrieved with a Google Scholar search.

1. Click Settings on the Google Scholar page.

2. Click Library links

4. Type "Washtenaw Community College" into the search box and click the search icon.

5. Check all of the Washtenaw Community College boxes. Then click Save.

6. Now you're ready to search. In the search results look for the Washtenaw Community College full-text link. (Note: Sometimes the link is labeled with the database name and not the library name - as long as a link appears on the right side of the page, you should have full-text access).

7. If you are trying to access library articles off-campus you will have to provide your NetID.


Making Google Scholar Work for You

1. Why does the "Washtenaw Community College " link appear next to some items and not others? 
Google Scholar displays this link after comparing the citation to our list of electronic subscriptions. Keep in mind that Google Scholar does not know when we have the print version, nor can it match an incomplete citation. So if the item is not available for free via the web, be sure to search our catalog or One Search to see if Bailey Library owns that title.

2. Is everything in Google Scholar free?
No. Google Scholar includes many citations that link directly to publishers' web sites of which most will charge a fee for access. However, Bailey Library subscribes to a lot of the same or similar resources that can be accessed from our catalog or databases.

4. How comprehensive is Google Scholar?
Google Scholar searches open access materials as well as items from many publishers, including some of the resources to which Bailey Library subscribes. However, Google Scholar only searches a fraction of the published scholarly literature. Use library resources like the catalog, One Search, and specific databases to search for a higher volume of full-text information.

5. How do I search by author, or limit to certain publications or dates in Google Scholar?
Use Advanced Scholar Search (click the down arrow in the search box) which allows for author, publication and date range searching.