Getting Started: Information Research Tips

Introductory help in learning how to identify, locate, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically for research assignments.

Scholarly v. Popular

Searching for Articles in Journals

Start with a keyword search using words relevant to your topic. When you see some 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 get other articles on the subject.

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.

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 Databases by Subject and click through to your discipline (political science, sociology, history, chemistry, etc.)

Social Sciences and Humanities Databases

Science and Engineering Databases

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.