This search engine streamlines your research process by finding library content across all our various resources--especially helpful when starting your search. Use it to discover books, documents, videos and online articles. If you need to find specific items, such as books by a particular author, use the advanced search option for more precise searching.
When searching in catalogs and databases:
- Be creative in the words you use; if one doesn't work, try something else. Think of words with related meaning, such as natural resource management or restoration or conservation.
- Begin with keywords, and use the subjects found in the articles that come up to find more information
- Use quotation marks around phrases, so they won't be searched as individual words.
- Use advanced search features in catalogs and databases to limit by date, language, type of article, etc
For more in-depth information about developing advanced search strategies, check out a tutorial from Purdue University at http://gemini.lib.purdue.edu/core/files/strategies0.html
Finding the full text of an article
Locating articles: Once you find your citation, you will need to locate the journal to read the article. Some citations will have the full-text of the article available online. For others, click on this button: to see if OSU subscribes to the electronic or the paper copy of the journal. 360 will open a new window and will display a link to full-text when available. If it's not, click the link to the library catalog to check for a paper copy. If neither is available, request the article from Interlibrary Loan: http://osulibrary.orst.edu/ill/.
The PsycINFO is a great database for psychology topics including related topics such as family studies, women's studies, education, sociology, human services and many other topics. Most of the content is academic and scholarly.
With Google Scholar you can search broadly (across several disciplines) with one search. You can use Google Scholar to find peer-reviewed articles, but you will also find pre-print copies of articles, conference papers, white papers, patents, legal opinions and more.
- Before you start -- go to Scholar Preferences (click the gear icon in the upper right corner) and enter Oregon State University in the Library Links field. Save your preferences.
- Enter your keywords in the search box.
- Browse results, making sure to use the library's subscriptions to get access the text of the articles where you can.Use the Get This Item at OSU link on the left to access the article.
Anatomy of a Scholarly Article
Reading a scholarly article can seem daunting at first. Scholarly articles are long and have a lot of data. If you break down the article into components, it will make it easier to read and understand.
For a quick overview, click on the link below to see an example of a scholarly article and its parts.
Searching a database
The most effective way to search the online databases is to enter terms or keywords that effectively describe your topic.
- Use broad, meaningful keywords when you search. Don't use sentences or phrases.
- Use just a few keywords (1-3). You can always add keywords later if you need to refine your search.
- Use the facets or limits to help refine you search. For example, you can narrow your search by date or by geographic region.
- When you review your results, look at the abstracts or subject headings for other keywords you can use to improve your search.
- Be prepared to do several searches. Research is a process that takes time.
The primary tool for discovering journal articles for your research are the library databases. General databases such as Academic Search Premier can be very useful, particularly in the initial stages of your searches, for they contain a great many full-text journals covering many different subjects. There are also more specialized databases for particular aspects of HDFS such as aging, health, and psychology. Here are a few suggestions out of the many that we have.
Academic Search Premier
Provides full text for nearly 4,600 scholarly publications, including full text for more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage spans virtually every area of academic study.
Coverage Dates: 1975 - present
Similar to Academic Search Premier, contains peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world's leading journals and reference sources. Millions of articles available in both PDF and HTML full-text with no restrictions; updated daily.
Coverage Dates: 1980 - present
PsycInfo (via PsycNET)
Index to journal articles, series and books for all areas of psychology including applied, clinical, developmental, educational, general, human experimental, general, physiological, social and sport psychology, and treatment and prevention. Abstracts and index.
Coverage Dates: 1887 - present
Index to articles from journals in sociology, social work and other social sciences. Abstracts and index.
Coverage Dates: 1963 - present
Social Services Abstracts
Provides bibliographic coverage of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development.
Coverage Dates: 1980 - present
Includes two editions: the Nursing Academic Edition and the Consumer Edition.
Coverage Dates: 1975 - present
Index to research articles, government and independent reports and conference papers covering all areas of education at all levels. Includes thesaurus searching, links to the OSU Libraries Online Catalog and full text document service (EDRS), where applicable; index and Abstracts plus links to the EDRS collection. 1966-present.
Coverage Dates: 1966 - present
Selecting a database
A good place to start when you are searching for articles is one of the library online databases. The library subscribes to many databases which are like indexes to different journals, magazines and newspapers. You can search for articles by topic or, if you already know the information, by author or title. Many of the databases have the full text of the article available so you can just download or print a copy.
- Go to the Library home page and click on Databases (under Find It). This will take you to an alphabetical list of all our databases.
- To see a list of databases recommended for a specific discipline, use the Filter drop-down on the database page. Select a general topic area from the drop-down and click Search.
- Mouse over the red information icon next to the name of the database. This tells you more about the database and the topics and time periods it covers.