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History 111: Finding Articles

Finding Articles

You can use the library's OneSearch catalog feature or choose one of the library's databases to find articles. When using databases, choose a database that seems suited to your particular topic. You can narrow the database list down by subject using the dropdown menu at the top. Or ask a librarian for help figuring out which databases might be best.

Just want to get started? Browse our Popular Databases list for the most frequently used databases.

You can search for articles by keywords, author, title or subjects.

Magazine, Newspaper and Journal Databases

Recommended Article Databases for History

JSTOR - A scholarly journal database for the Humanities and Social Sciences

America History and Life - Includes literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present.

History Reference Center - Provides full text  more than 130 leading history periodicals, more than 61,100 historical documents, 66,000 biographies of historical figures, more than 110,200 historical photos and maps.

Issues & Controversies in History -  Provides the background, outcome, and contemporary points of view for major conflicts and debates in American and world History. Presented in a pro/con format that explains both sides of the historical dispute, each article is supported by a timeline and primary sources.

Articles Tip

Articles are sometimes available in more than one format, such as HTML or PDF. When given the option, choose PDF, as this will be a scanned version of the original printed article and will ensure that any images, charts or graphs, and page numbers will be preserved.

Using Databases to Find Scholarly Journal Articles

Resources found within databases are generally more acceptable to use for your assignments than material found on the Internet because they come from reputable magazines, newspapers, and journals. Library databases such as Ebsco and JSTOR are used to find peer-reviewed / scholarly journal articles, not available through Internet search engines like Google. 

Scholarly sources are written by experts and scholars working in the field that you are researching. They often go through a "peer-review" process before being published. Check out our Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines page to learn more about the peer-review process and the difference between peer-reviewed journals and popular magazines.

Database Searching

Database Search Tips

Once you select a database, conduct a search using the keywords you identified for your topic.

  • Use the wildcard character * to truncate the main stem of a word to find different versions: pollut* finds pollution, pollute, polluted 
  • Place quotation marks around words you want to search as a phrase: “air pollution” ; “eating disorders” ; “social media” 
  • Brainstorm for words with similar meanings: youth, adolescents, teens, teenagers, “young adults” 
  • Select full-text, scholarly, academic, or peer-reviewed options, if needed. 
  • Browse your results to see if your keywords retrieved articles that appear related to your topic.  
  • Scan the titles and subjects used in articles you like and revise your search using some of the new words you found.  
  • Look for options to narrow your results. In EBSCO databases, browse the "Refine Results" section on the left.
  • Click on titles that look promising and read the abstract or summary. 
  • When you find an article you want to use, look for tools that will allow you to e-mail, print, save, and copy the citation for the article. In EBSCO, the Tools menu is on the right, in other databases the options may be at the top of the page.

Tip! E-mail articles to yourself along with their citations so you don’t lose them. Remember to check computer-generated citations carefully to be sure they are correct!