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HDFS 201: Contemporary Families in the U.S. (Ecampus)

Finding Articles

The primary tool for discovering journal articles for your research are the library databases. General databases such as Academic Search Premier can be very useful, particularly in the initial stages of your searches, for they contain a great many full-text journals covering many different subjects. There are also more specialized databases for particular aspects of HDFS such as aging, health, and psychology. Here are a few suggestions out of the many that we have.

Searching a Database

The most effective way to search the online databases is to enter terms or keywords that effectively describe your topic.

  • Use broad, meaningful keywords when you search. Don't use sentences or phrases.
  • Use just a few keywords (1-3). You can always add keywords later if you need to refine your search.
  • Use the facets or limits to help refine your search. For example, you can narrow your search by date or by geographic region.
  • When you review your results, look at the abstracts or subject headings for other keywords you can use to improve your search.
  • Be prepared to do several searches. Research is a process that takes time.

 

Choosing a Database

Online databases are a good place to start when you are searching for articles -- especially scholarly and peer-reviewed articles. Databases are searchable collections of research and other articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. You can search for articles by topic or, if you already know the information, by author or title.

Databases often include the full text of their articles, which allows you to read an article online, download it, or print a copy. Not all articles in a database include the article's full text.

  • Go to the Library home page and click on Databases A-Z (below the search box). This will take you to an alphabetical list of all our databases.
  • To see a list of databases recommended for a specific discipline, use the Subject drop-down on Databases A-Z. Select a subject area from the drop-down and click Search. 
  • Most databases include a brief description which tells you more about the type of materials included in the database and the topics and time periods it covers.

Finding an Article's Full Text

Once you find your article's entry in a database, check whether the database provides the full-text article. If it does, the database will provide a link to a "full-text PDF", "full text available online", or something similar.

If the database doesn't provide a full-text article, click on the FindIt@OSU button to see if OSU subscribes to the electronic or the paper copy of the journal. FindIt@OSU will open a new window and will display a link to full-text when available. If not, request the article from Interlibrary Loan

Smart searching

When searching in catalogs and databases:

  • Be creative in the words you use; if one doesn't work, try something else. Think of words with related meaning, such as natural resource management or restoration or conservation
  • Begin with keywords, and use the subjects found in the articles that come up to find more information
  • Use quotation marks around phrases, so they won't be searched as individual words.
  • Use advanced search features in catalogs and databases to limit by date, language, type of article, etc