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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Anthropology 399JD: Sustainability, Humans, and Animals: Finding Journal Articles

Library guide for Fall 2017 ANTH 399JD

Activity: Comparing searches in three databases

Where should you search for scholarly journal articles? It all depends on your topic and the search terms you use. Some subject-specific article databases (ie. Anthropology Plus; Zoological Record) may be helpful in narrowing your search to articles in a certain discipline or field, if results from a more general search engine or database are too broad. Other times, interdisciplinary topics require a search in a broader database (ie. Academic Search Complete; Google Scholar). Often, you'll use a combination of both.

In this activity, you'll use one example search combination of words that you developed in Activity 3 (in the From Research tab) in three different article databases to compare the search results. The three databases are: Anthropology Plus, Zoological Record, and Google Scholar. Do the same search in all three, look at the first page of search results.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How many total results do I get?
  2. What kinds of sources do I see? (ex. Anthropology Journals? Biological? Books? Newspaper articles? Other?) What are the benefits and drawbacks of each database for this assignment and for my research question?
  3. Do the results of one work better than another for my topic? Or are they complimentary?
  4. Is there anything I expected to see that I don’t see here?
  5. Is there anything that showed up that I didn’t expect?
  6. How could I tweak my search for better/different results?

Books can also be sources of scholarly research. Try your search in the Library Catalog, and compare your results using the questions above.


Searching for Anthropology Articles- Database & Index Quick Links

But my topic is interdisciplinary...where should I search?

How to find Journal Articles

What type of search should you do if...

  • You have an article citation and need to find the full-text of the article at the University of Illinois. Answer: Use the Journal and Article Locator
  • You want to search for articles on a certain subject or topic. Answer: Use an Article Abstract/Index Database to search by keywords/subjects. See Quick Links on the left to get started.

Discover Full Text

Discover Full Text

After you've found an article citation in a database, how do you go about getting your hands on the actual article? Some databases have full text articles in them already. In this case, you should see a link to either an HTML or PDF document. If the full text isn't available in a specific database, you should see a button that looks like this:
"Discover UIUC Full Text Linking"

Clicking this button will open a new browser tab or window and will search the Illinois library subscriptions and online catalog. This new page will tell you if we have electronic access to the specific article you need.

If it indicates that we have online full text, click the link to get to the article.

If the Discover page doesn't show access to online full text, click the link for "Holdings in VuFind" to search the library catalog for print holdings of that journal.

UIUC doesn't have this article- now what?