Often, your assignments may require you to use journal articles for your research paper. You read write-ups in magazines, books, forums, etc.—but, that is not the kind of article your assignment would require.
The Need for Journal Articles
Journal articles are scholarly papers that report or review research findings and developments in a specific subject.
Every argument in an assignment would require the backing of authentic evidence. Journal articles act as credible evidences in order to back arguments.
How to Find Journal Articles?
One can look up journals articles in the following ways:
Google Scholar: Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine which helps you to broadly search for scholarly literature.
1 Advantage of Google Scholar:
- You can find all the available scholarly literature in one place, plus, you also get to read and find out about related works, citations, publications and authors;
2 Ways to access data from Google Scholar:
- Freely available journal articles: A lot many journal articles are available free of cost on Google Scholar. Such articles can be directly taken form the internet. It is available online to the reader without any kind of restriction or barrier.
- Paid articles: Many peer reviewed journals are not accessible free of cost. In such a case, you need to log in through your ‘Student Library Account’. Here, one has free access to a whole lot of academic databases.
3 Ways of Search
There are 3 ways in which one can search for journal articles online:
– Basic Search: This basically involves going to scholar.google.com where in you will want to enter your keywords and see what shows up. For example, I’m looking for peer reviewed journals on ‘Nursing Care’. This is what you will see:
– Advanced Search: You can use the “advance search” option by clicking the drop-down on the right side. This allows you to find articles by allowing you to refine your search on the basis of date, full-text, language, etc.
– Specific Search: A specific search is one, wherein you already know the journal name, or the tile of the journal, etc. and shall directly go to the database and access it.
For example, you are looking for an abstract on “Improve patient care”, you will go to MEDLINE and directly search for it.
Search via topic for example,
- Go to the Library home page
- Click on Subject Guides
- Select the subject relevant to your assignment
- Select a database
- Enter your search terms
Limiters help to narrow down your search so that the information retrieved from the databases you search, is limited and relevant as per your search requirements.
Some of the common limiters are:
- Full Text – This helps to limit results to articles with full text.
- Abstract Available – This filter enables to limit results to articles that include an abstract summarizing the contents of the article.
- Peer Reviewed – This filter limits the search results to articles only from peer-reviewed journals.
- Date Published –This filter is used to search for articles within a specified date range.
4 Steps to Search:
Supposingly, the topic of your search is “Gender Differences in Mathematics Learning in Primary School”
Step 1: What words to use?
- Gender differences,
- Mathematics learning,
- Primary school.
Step 2: What alternative/similar words can we use?
- Sex differences
Step 3: To put the words together using Boolean terms:
* Boolean Terms are simple words (AND, OR, NOT or AND NOT) which act as conjunctions in order to combine or exclude certain keywords in a search, providing a more streamlined and focused result.
AND – Narrows the search
OR – Broadens the search
Step 4: So, the final search will look somewhat like this:
Gender differences OR sex differences OR boys OR girls.
*Please note, the Boolean term used needs to be capitalized.
JSTOR:JSTOR is a digital library consisting of primary sources, academic journals, and books. You can find image and full-text online access to back issues of selected scholarly journals.
You can search their database by refining your search in the following ways:
- By Subject
- By Title
- By Publisher
- Advanced Search
With online tools like Google Scholar and JSTOR, you’ll have access to plenty of great literature just a click away!