How Do I Find Journal & Magazine Articles?

Look up journal articles on a topic by using a library database.
A database is a collection of information sources (usually journal articles) with a search engine that allows you to search for the articles. The Library subscribes to a number of databases that will retrieve citations to journal articles (e.g., title of article, author, title of journal, volume number, page numbers, etc.). Some citations include abstracts (summaries) of the journal article that will help you determine if the articles fits your topic. In addition, some databases provide the full-text of the articles. If the fulltext article is not available in the database you searched, see below for further information.
There are two basic types of databases:
  1. There are some general periodical databases that have articles on many subjects. They cover a range of periodical types from popular magazines to scholarly journals.
  2. Other databases focus on specific subject areas and will lead you to scholarly articles in that field. They also often identify books, dissertations, conference papers, and other sources of information in that field. Many databases include foreign language sources.
To search these databases from offcampus, you will need to input your name and barcode number from the back of your SCU ACCESS card.
Search for journal articles
  1. From the Library homepage, click on the Databases A-Z List if you already know the name of the database you want, or use the subject pull-down list to choose your database by subject.
  2. Click on the title of the database you want to use.
  3. Use the search features of the database you chose to look for articles
If you are not finding what you want, look at the "Help" screens which most databases offer for suggestions on refining your search. If that does not work, try another database in your subject area. If that does not work, then use the "Ask A Librarian" service to ask for more help.
Find the full-text of articles you've discovered
  1. Go to the Library homepage and use the Journal Finder to search for the journal title (not the article's title).
  2. The Journal Finder will return a list of matching titles and the information on the dates available in various databases:
    Journal finder example showing databases and coverage dates.
  3. If the date of your article is available in another database, click on the name of the database. You will either be connected to the journal or a database that has the fulltext of the journal. You may have to search for the article again.
  4. If the journal is in the University Library Print Holdings, click on the link to check the Library's holdings in OSCAR. If the Library has the dates of your articles, come to the Library to read the article or make a photocopy.
    1. If the article was published in approximately the last year, check the current journal shelves on the second floor of the Learning Commons.
    2. For older articles, request the appropriate date/volume in OSCAR from the Automated Retrieval System (ARS) and pick up the volume(s) at the Circulation Desk.
  5. If the Library does not have the journal title either electronically or in print, you can fill out an interlibrary loan request form for the article. Read more about Interlibrary Loan. You need a valid ACCESS card to place an interlibrary loan request.
Need more help? Ask a librarian
"Ask a Librarian" is our 24/7 research support service. We have librarians available around the clock to help you find books and other library materials. Visit the "Ask a Librarian" page to view the five different ways you can get library-related help from a pro!

Page created November 2, 2006.
Page last updated January 24, 2011