International Relations home > Finding Articles
- Where Do I Find Articles?
- How is a Database Different from the Internet?
- Does an Article from a Database Count as an "Internet Source" or Web Site?
- Basic Searching Tips
- What Is the Database Showing Me?
- Is There a List of Full-Text Journals Available?
Search for articles with one of our periodical databases. These are tools that help you identify quality research materials in journals and other publications. The library offers all Eden and Webster students, faculty, and staff over 100 subscription databases as premier sources of research information. See the section on Recommended Databases for a list of databases in your subject area.
You will not find articles with the library catalog. The library catalog lists periodicals/journals held by the library, indicating the years owned by the library; however, it does not index the individual articles in magazines and journals.
|You may be familiar with paper indices, which list articles by topic or by author and usually have one volume per year. Examples include Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature and the Wall Street Journal Index. Many print indices are now available in electronic format and can be searched online.|
|Online databases offer great advantages over paper indices: |
A database is a collection of information -- in many cases a collection of articles. On the other hand, the Internet includes World Wide Web pages, e-mail servers, and other forms of electronic information. When you search a database available on our Web site, you are using the Internet to access and search that database; however, you are only searching part of the Internet -- the database of articles.
Our databases also differ from general Internet use in that they are accessible only by subscription. The library has paid subscriptions to these databases and, as a student, you are eligible to use them. These databases provide scholarly research materials published in recognized and well-respected journals.
Free databases also exist on the Internet and anyone may use them. While these contain some sound research information, they usually do not index the same materials as subscription databases and do not offer fulltext articles. Most scholarly research information is not freely available on the Internet.
What if your instructor tells you not to use Internet sources or Web sites for research? Always talk to your instructor to clarify what is meant by "Internet source" or "Web site." Databases tend to index electronic versions of articles from traditional print magazines and journals -- the kinds of sources your instructors expect you to use. If you have used a library database to find articles, it means that you've used the Internet as a tool: the Internet is used to run a database which in turn helps you find information.
|The bottom line: Using these databases to find articles is much different from visiting websites:
The full-text, electronic version of an article available through one of our databases is usually identical to the paper version of the same article. For example, an American Political Science Review article viewed online is the same as the American Political Science Review article printed on paper; only the format changes.
|The most fundamental part of searching a database is creating a search strategy! But basic searching also includes using the operators AND, OR, and NOT in search expressions, as well as some other simple operators.|
Below are some general guidelines for database searching. More information on how to improve your results with various searching techniques can be found in our Searching a Database tutorial.
- Keep it simple! Use individual keywords or phrases, not complete sentences.
- Use the word AND to combine keywords or phrases to make your search more specific.
- foreign policy and China
international law and enforcement
- Use the word OR to have the computer search for synonyms, alternate spellings, or two or more different options.
- developing nations or Third World
globalization or globalisation
- If you use both AND and OR in the same search, parentheses should be placed around the terms separated with OR.
- human rights and (China or Asia)
(NGOs or non-governmental organizations) and environment
Articles in databases are described using a "citation" which tells you the title of the article, the author's name, and the publication in which the article appears.
Webster/Eden students, faculty, and staff may check our comprehensive Journal/Magazine/Newspaper list to see the titles either available full-text in our online databases or in paper/microform at the library. If a periodical is available online, you will see a link directly to the database which has the full-text. Once you log in with your I.D. number, the database will take you either to a list of articles for that title or to the main search screen where you can often search by periodical title. Check the "Help" available within the database if you have questions about how to proceed. A later section will discuss what to do if the full-text is not online in any of our databases.