Elements of Library Research

Learn the basics of researching at the library.

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Finding Articles

Doing an IQP, MQP, or Thesis project? Scholarly journals and books are often the best sources for academic research.

Information can be technical, historical, or on contemporary issues. 

Use articles to:

Getting Started: General & Multidisciplinary Databases

Use library databases & electronic resources to track down articles on your topic. Ask at the Reference Desk or online for suggestions.

Filter & Follow Up

  • Scan results: Use subject headings, keywords, and phrases from your search results to refine your keyword searches.
  • Scrutinize article titles, number of pages, and journal title.
  • Browse promising abstract and conclusion sections of long studies.
  • Bibliographies can clue you in on the value of the article as well.
  • Find an interesting author? Search for more articles by that author.
  • Notice an agency, association or expert mentioned in an article? Follow up.

Only Finding a Citation? Get the Full Text

Within most databases, click on the FullTextFinder link to get options for obtaining the full text of the article.