Finding Scholarly Articles for your Research Papers
Start--Writing a Research Paper
Read the Assignment at least 3 times very carefully. With
your instructor-- If you have any questions about the assignment,
get them cleared up BEFORE you spend
time doing the research. Are there certain kinds of information sources you can (and cannot) use: public webpages, popular magazines, academic journals, newspapers? See this periodicals chart to understand the differences.
Let the Reference librarians help you find the best places to look for information and develop an appropriate research
strategy for your particular project. At
the Reference Desk--2nd Floor North or 460-7025 or
email or chat at:http://libguides.southalabama.edu/ask
Calculator from the Univ. of Minnesota for help planning
your time and executing the paper writing process.
Printing in the Library cost 10¢ a page and requires the use
of a TRACcard purchased at the Circulation Desk.
All USA-subscribed databases can
be found on our Homepage under Articles,
Indexes, and Databases in the alphabetical list (scroll down the page). These databases are accessible to all USA students both
on and off campus. Non-USA students may use them in the Library and
print or email them to themselves. Note: Some of the most current articles may be "embargoed" (held back) by the publisher until they are 6 -12 old.
Articles on current controversial topics
CQ Researcher--Weekly magazine/journal online. Each issue addresses a current controversial issue.
Search Premier [Under
Ebsco] Many full-text. Use the asterisk * for truncation. Always try "Check for Full Text" if the items doesn't say full text. Use the database's own
Expanded Academic ASAP [Under InfoTrac] Many full-text.
Always use database's own "print" button. Use the asterisk
* for truncation.
LexisNexis -- Full text of international newpaper articles. Good for the most current news about an event or topic. Not academic. Includes trade journals, TV news transcripts, statistical sources, information about businesses and industry, laws, law reviews and more. Use the exclamation point ! for truncation.
Opposing Viewpoints-- Book chapters from Gale pulications, articles, primary documents, statistics, and more on controversial topics.
Author is the default, but change to Advanced if you have a very
focused topic like "flappers in 1920s literature." Be
sure to select full text in the pull-down menu to get any reference
to these words in the articles. Click on the "Literary Criticism.
. ." tab. Always use database's own print or email button near
the top left of the webpage. URL. Also instead of giving the
Infotrac URL for the article, it is more effective to give the
address through which a professor can gain access. The actual
url of the article will not allow direct access to anyone without
a login through our proxy server and therefore is useless.)
Project Muse Our newest database. Contains current full-text journal articles in several fields of study. If you get too many, change search coverage from "all fields with text" to "all fields except text."
JSTORAll full-text articles from online journals in many fields; all
articles are PDF format and at least 3-5 years old, but many much
Use the Advanced Search option; select "Articles" and "Language and Literature" as a category. If you are doing a broad topic like "Shakespeare's
women" use the pulldown menus to just search for each word
separately (shakespeare* and women) in the title or you may get hundreds
of useless articles. Use "PDF economy" mode to print which
you sent in "preferences." Always use database's own "print"
button. JSTOR does NOT have an email function. Use "quote marks" for phrases and asterisk
* for truncation.
Archive Online Similar to JSTOR with some overlap
of coverage; the newest articles seem to be from 1996. Worth trying, especially
if you need to be comprehensive in your literature review.
International Bibliography [Under
Ebsco] The most important database for literary criticism (includes
articles, books and chapters of books), but it is not the easiest
to use. There are no abstracts or full-text contained within
this database itself. It has some "linked" full-text articles, which
will take you to the full-text articles in other databases. Always
use database's own "print" button. Use the asterisk *
Articles About Other Topics--Too many to name. Go immediately to the Reference Desk!
Sage Journals Onlineis a good choice for all social science topics: sociology, psychology, criminal justice, public administration, economics, anthropology, social work, even for things like the social aspects of nursing. SocINDEX with Full Text-- (EBSCO) topics having to do with societal issues, e.g. social security, sexual abuse, military families. These topics may be considered sociologically. Asterisk* for truncation. PsycInfo--(EBSCO)
Education Research Complete(EBSCO) Over 1500 professional and scholarly journals. Professional Development Collection (EBSCO)over 240 full-text journals on educational topics. ERIC (EBSCO) Journal articles and unpublished documents--education research and teaching Professional Collection Online:(Gale) includes over 300 fulltext journals for educators
Need a Particular Journal or Magazine?
Cited" from books and articles you find to gather more sources
for your papers. If you see that certain articles are frequently
cited in the books and articles that you are reading, find them--they
may be the among the most important for your research. Here's
Journal List --USA subscribed, full-text, electronic journal
and print holdings. Don't use the alphabet selection. Type in the title of the magazine, journal or newspaper you need. Those databases which have your journal in full-text will be retrieved. If none are returned, click on SOUTHcat catalog to see if we have them as a print subscription and where the volume you need is located. If nothing shows up, consider making an interlibrary loan request.
Loan -- Students, faculty and staff may use this to order books or articles from other libraries that we don't have, but that they find essential
for their research.
Free if available in Alabama, but you must allow at least 7 days and sometimes 2 weeks. Be aware that most ILLs are free to you, but
incur expense for the Library, so use it wisely. Register as a first time user supplying your information and creating a login and password. When you need an item, go in again using your (remembered) login and password and fill in the information about the item you need. Our librarians will find out who has the item and ask them to send it to us. You pick it up at the Reference desk, though sometime we can email a link to the article to you.
If you are not affiliated with the University, ask the Mobile Public Library. They do interlibrary loans for card holders.
Smart "Public" Internet Searching
a. Try Google's
version of a scholarly search: Google
Scholar. Excellent for finding out who's citing whom; but most
items are not full text for free. No Truncation
Important: Before you begin searching, click on Preferences and type in University of South Alabama in the search box. Check the box in front of USA eText. Now when you search Google Scholar, those items that have USA eText near the title are articles that you can get full text through our library's subscription.
b. Try Google Book. Scanned copies of books from several libraries. Full view and downloads of those out of copyright (therefore very old usually); a few pages or snippets from those still under copyright law.
d. Use an "advanced"
search engine like Google
Advanced Search and limit to "more trustworthy" domains. e.g. gov, edu, org
e. Evaluate what you find through a search engine like Google or Yahoo extremely carefully--they are in the business of advertising, not education. Criteria
for Evaluating webpages
How do you cite from online databases:
EBSCO Databases: When you find an article you want to use, click on "save", then set the citation style as MLA or APA or whatever you are required to use. When you click "save' again EBSCO will create a fairly decent bibliographic entry. Check it carefully--it is not foolproof. Watch for capitals in the title! Fill in "University of South Alabama Library, Mobile, AL" and the date and <a short url to ebscohost>.