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Getting Started: Information Research Tips   Tags: start research, thinking critically, web  

Introductory help in learning how to identify, locate, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically for research assignments.
Last Updated: Oct 13, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Searching for Articles

Identify the type(s) of articles you are looking for. Are you looking for scholarly/academic/peer-reviewed articles? Or, are you looking for popular articles (e.g., from magazines or newspapers)? Not sure? Review your assignment or contact your professor.
Select a database that covers your subject and includes the types of articles you need. The boxes to the right and below include a very select list of databases in various disciplines. If you do not find one that meets your needs, check for additional databases on the Find Databases by Subject page.
Create a list of keywords relevant to your topic. You might start with keywords and phrases for your topic or research question. The assignment prompt, your syllabus, lecture notes, or textbook might also help you find keywords. 
Expand your search. When you see articles that look interesting, click on the title to see the complete citation. If there are subject terms or descriptors, click on those that seem related to your topic to find other articles on the subject.

Want to learn more advanced research strategies? Stop by a reference desk, schedule a consultation, Ask a Librarian in a real-time chat or check out the pdf below!


Searching for Journal Titles

If the item you find does not have full text online, copy the title of the journal or book and search for it in the UCLA Library Catalog. Paste the title into the Search for box and select Journal Title (Start of) or Title (Start of) from the drop-down menu.  Select your title from the list and see if UCLA owns the item you seek.  If there is an ONLINE ACCESS link, you can find the full text online. 

An alternative search for full text journal articles is to use the Melvyl Catalog and search for the journal title.  Select the Journal Title (exact) index and enter your journal title in the search box. If there is an Available Online link and UCLA is not listed, try it anyway—we may have access.


Finding Full Text

UC-eLinks icon is your link to full-text! Note that many of these sources only index journal articles—they don't actually have the full text. Use the gold UC-eLinks button to find the full text or search for the journal title in the UCLA Library Catalog.

News Sources

In addition to the links below, see the research guide for News, which has more information about finding newspapers, either in the UCLA Library or from other libraries via Interlibrary Loan.

  • Access World News Research Collection  Icon
    Full-text information and perspectives from over 2400 U.S. and international Blogs, Journals, Newspapers, Newswires, Video, Web-Only Sources. Date coverage varies with individual newspaper.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch
    Complete text of over 200 ethnic, minority and Native American publications, 1990 to the present.
  • Keesing's worldwide online
    Digest of political, social and economic events for all countries of the world from the 1930s to the present.
  • LexisNexis Academic  
    Full-text news, business, legal, medical, and reference information. Also useful for finding full text of current performing arts and media industry news in major newspapers. Includes biographical information from Who's Who titles.
  • Los Angeles Times (1985-) and Los Angeles Times Historical
    Covers the LA Times from 1888 to the present. Page images of the newspaper, including advertisements, etc., are searchable and displayable up to 1988. Issues after that date do not include page images.
  • New York Times (1980-) and New York Times Historical
    Covers the New York Times from 1851 to the present. Page images of the newspaper, including advertisements, etc., are searchable and displayable up to 2008. Issues after that date do not include page images.
  • Times Digital Archive
    Full-text and full-image articles from the Times of London. It is a digital reproduction, cover to cover, of the paper in PDF files.
  • UCLA Library Broadcast NewsScape
    Digitized television news programs collected from cable and broadcast sources in the Los Angeles market from 2005 to the present, as well as a small number of Internet news programs. The contents are searchable and viewable.

Los Angeles Public Library

Not all articles are available from databases UCLA subscribes to. The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) has a number of databases available to anyone with an LAPL library card.

The most useful database to try searching is Research Library (ProQuest), which UCLA does not subscribe to.

General Interdisciplinary Databases

The databases listed here and in the following boxes are a very select list of those that the UCLA Library subscribes to. If you want to look for others, go to Find Databases by Subject and click through to your discipline (political science, sociology, history, chemistry, etc.)

  • Academic Search Complete  Icon
    Indexes and abstracts over 10,000 publications, with the complete text of over 5,500 periodicals, including 4,600 peer-reviewed journals. Click on Choose Databases to select other databases available from EBSCO.
    Complete text and index of core academic journals from their starting dates to about 5 years ago.
  • PIO - Periodicals Index Online
    Indexes articles in more than 5000 periodicals in the humanities and social sciences; many link to full text.
  • Web of Knowledge
    Also called Web of Science, WoK is comprised of Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Science Citation Index. Covers thousands of journals in a wide array of disciplines.

Social Sciences and Humanities Databases

  • America History & Life  
    Provides historical coverage of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes indexing information abstracted from over 1,700 journals published worldwide since 1964.
  • Anthropology Plus
    Covers anthropology (cultural and physical), archaeology, and interdisciplinary studies.
  • ERIC
    Index to journal articles from 1969 to the present and ERIC documents since 1966 on educational research and practice. Allows access to the full-text of most ERIC documents from 1996-present. Make sure 'ERIC' is checked before performing your search.
  • Historical Abstracts (EBSCO)  
    Index and abstracts for articles on the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada, which are covered in America: History and Life) published since 1955.
  • MLA International Bibliography
    Indexes worldwide publications on topics including literature, language, linguistics and folklore from 1923 to the present.
  • Project Muse
    Full text of current issues (from about 1990) of scholarly journals published by university presses, chiefly in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Browsable by discipline and full-text searchable across all disciplines.
  • PsycINFO
    Abstracts and citations to the scholarly literature in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences. Many link to full-text. 99% are peer-reviewed journals.
  • Sociological Abstracts
    Abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. Covers journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,800+ serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.

Science and Engineering Databases

  • Biosis Previews  
    Contains citations and abstracts for journal articles, books, conference proceedings, and technical reports in all areas of biology, related fields such as biomedicine and ecology, and interdisciplinary areas such as biochemistry and biotechnology.
  • Compendex
    Contains citations and abstracts to over 5000 engineering journals from 1884 to the present, conferences and technical reports in the fields of chemical and process engineering, computers and data processing, applied physics, electronics, communications, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering. Coverage is from 1884 to the present; print equivalent is Engineering Index.
  • Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management
    This multidisciplinary database provides comprehensive coverage of the environmental sciences. Abstracts and citations are drawn from over 6000 serials including scientific journals, conference proceedings, reports, monographs, books and government publications.
  • Inspec  
    Covers physics, electrical engineering and electronics, computers and control, and information technology. Includes IEEE publications.
  • PsycINFO
    Abstracts and citations to the scholarly literature in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences. Many link to full-text. 99% are peer-reviewed journals.
  • PubMed  
    Access to citations from MEDLINE, PreMEDLINE, other journals in the field of medicine and life sciences, and links to NCBI's integrated molecular biology databases including nucleotide sequences, protein sequences, 3-D protein structure data, population study data sets, and assemblies of complete genomes in an integrated system.
  • Web of Science
    Web of Science is comprised of Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Science Citation Index. Covers thousands of journals in a wide array of disciplines.