Scholarly journal, newspaper, and magazine articles are one of the primary means of communicating research ideas. They are an important component of academic research and give you some insight into ongoing debates and scholarly conversations about your topic. You can find articles through database searches.
Finding articles is a two-step process:
- First, find the citation to the articles you want. You can use bibliographies or suggested readings lists, or you can search for the topic you are interested in by using one of the article databases listed below. If you have difficulties, ask your professor or a librarian for help getting started.
- Next, find the actual text of the articles you want. Most of our journals are online but some of them are still available only in print format. If the journal article you are looking for is not available electronically, you will need to use the Library Catalog to look up the location of the journal for which you have a citation.
Find the best library databases for your research. Filter by subject and content type.
Searching Article Databases
Experiment with keywords to search article databases or the Online Library Catalog for more info.
- Try words to describe your topic such as "student protests" or "student activism."
- Try words to describe a specific aspect such as “social justice” or “civil rights” or “educational equity”
Finding Books and Journals
Library catalogs are used for two purposes. First, if you know exactly what you are looking for, for example you know the exact title of a book or journal or an author’s name. Second, you can use library catalogs to find materials that might be helpful to you by doing subject and keyword searching.
Look here to find books, videos, magazines or journals containing articles that you need, and many other resources. In addition to the over 15 million volumes we have on this campus, you can connect to over 90 other libraries in Illinois and request that books be sent to you. When you find something you want in the catalog, write down the following:
Location – in which library the item is kept (or libraries, if we have multiple copies)
Call Number – this number is essential for finding the item on the shelf
Status – is it available for you to check out?
Use WorldCat to search for books all over the world. Once you find the book you want, you can request it using Interlibrary Loan.
Find and request books and articles from libraries worldwide. Useful when books and articles are not available through UIUC and I-Share.