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Finding Journals and Journal Articles

Journals, Articles,
& Databases

What's the Difference?



A scholarly paper written by an expert in the field and often peer-reviewed by other experts before publication. Articles are usually published in scholarly journals and contain a list of references or citations at the end.



A collection of articles in a particular subject area published on a regular schedule, often 4 times a year. Similar to a magazine except that the articles are often scholarly, peer-reviewed and are read by researchers in the field. A journal can either be in print or online.
(ie, The Journal of Philosophy)



A searchable collection of articles from hundreds or thousands of scholarly journals and other sources. Libraries typically pay a licensing fee to publishers (such as Ebsco) in order to give library users access to search for and download articles from a database.
(ie, Academic Search Complete)

How many journals does OLLU have in my subject area?

The fastest way to find the number of journals available from OLLU in a particular subject area is to use


Full Text Finder


You can get to Full Text Finder from the library homepage by clicking on the "Journals By Title" link in the Research menu:



Once in Full Text Finder, click on the discipline you want to search, for example "Biology":



Full Text Finder will show you how many journals are available in that subject area, or you can use the limiters on the left side to narrow the subject down further:


How do I find a particular journal by name?

If you know the name of the journal you're looking for, go in to Full Text Finder and simply start typing the title:



If the journal is available at OLLU, Full Text Finder will autofill the search box with possible titles. If you search and get no results, the library may not have access to that title, but you can always check with a librarian to make sure.

How do I find a particular article with a citation?

A typical article citation might look like this:



Find the journal title (in this example it's the Journal of Policy History) and type it into the search box in Full Text Finder:



If OLLU has access to the journal, Full Text Finder will bring it up along with links to where you can access the journal, and what dates the library has access to. In this example, we can access articles in the Journal of Policy History through Academic Search Complete in full-text from 2004 to one year ago. Since the article we want is from 2009, we can get it!


Click the link to access the journal through the database. Then you will most likely need to navigate to the article by clicking on the year on the right side index. Since the citation tells us that this article is in volume 21, issue 1, we can click on that link:



You'll be taken to a page with all of the journal articles from that issue. Look for the article you need by title, or by page numbers (the articles will usually be in order according to page number).




Having Trouble?


Double-check that your citation is actually for an article and not a book chapter or a book instead.


  • A book chapter will have both a chapter title and a book title:



  • A book citation will not have any page numbers listed:



If your citation is for a book or a book chapter, try searching for the book's title in the library's Books & Media catalog instead.


If you run into problems at any step during the process, just Ask A Librarian
and we will be happy to help you locate your article!

(citation images courtesy of GMU Libraries)

What if I just need a bunch of articles?

If you just need a certain number of articles, try doing a key word search in the main search box on the library's homepage:



For a more precise search, click on the Article Databases link in the Research section of the library homepage and choose a database by subject, or look for one of the library's Research Starters to get hints on some of the best places to start your search.