The easiest way to search for research articles is to use Google Scholar.
You are ready to begin researching a topic when you can answer the following questions:
Reading a research article is different from reading any other type of source. There are specific strategies you can use to save time and gain a deeper understanding of what you are researching.
Strategy 1: Preview
Strategy 2: Notes
Strategy 3: Analyze
You can also find articles using a library database.
A library database is an organized collection of articles that lets you search search for a particular topic, article, or book in a variety of ways (e.g., keyword, subject, author, title).
Materials and information available in a library database may never appear in a Google Scholar search, or in a Google search. If Google isn't giving you what you need, try one of the databases below:
Did you get too many results? If so, try some of these ideas to narrow down your results:
Narrow by dates (only newer, older, or a specific range of dates)
Narrow by type of source (peer-reviewed journals, magazines, etc. based on the assignment’s guidelines)
Add another of the search terms you listed above, connecting the two with the “AND” provided in the database’s Advanced Search
Using the database’s Advanced Search option, change “AND” to “NOT” to exclude terms you don’t want (ex. “Pride and Prejudice” NOT film)
Put any multi-word phrases into “quotation marks” to prevent other words from coming between them
Try searching within a specific publication
Try using a specialized limiter for the database(s) you’re searching (for example, PsycINFO offers a Methodology limiter; Education Source has one for Lesson Plans; and Business Source Complete lets you search for Company Reports, Case Studies, or Product Reviews)
Did you get too few results? If so, try some of these ideas to expand your results:
Using the database’s Advanced Search, enter 2 search terms that are synonyms, connecting them with the word “or” (ex. film OR movie). Some databases even include a thesaurus.
Enter your main topic in a Subject Search. Look at the subdivisions or subjects given to you to get new ideas for better search terms (find out what the database is calling it)
If you are in an EBSCO owned database, click where it says “Choose Database” at the top and add more databases to your search
If you are in a ProQuest owned database, click where it says “Change databases” at the top and add another database to your search
Find an author or authors who support your thesis and search for their other works
If you find an article that does fit your topic:
search for full text of some of the articles it cites
search Google Scholar for newer articles that cite it
Find more background information on your topic and brainstorm some new search terms