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FAQs : How to Find Scholarly Articles in the State College of Florida Library Databases

Find scholarly or peer reviewed articles in the SCF Libraries databases and even Google Scholar.

Three Ways to Find Scholarly Journal Articles

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1) Go to

2) Go to Databases and select.  SCF Databases or Or use this link. This step by step demo refers to Academic Search Complete.

3) WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE:  The first page of most databases are somewhat similar with a search box that allows searching with limiters ( full text, title, journal name ) and also a drop down box style Boolean search. Underneath this common frame will be two columns.  Near the top of the one on the left will be a choice for FULL TEXT.  Select that.  In the second column, there will be an option for Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals. Select that option if that is the specific level of material you should be working with.  In higher level academic work, this is expected.

In databases like Business Source complete, the limits underneath this search box are more detailed and allow for searches of NAICS and Duns codes and even ticker symbols.  In CINAHL, the limits allow to restrict results to evidence-based research and methodology of research. In PsycARTICLES, the limits below the main search box allow user to select human subjects versus animal and more.  As you move into the specialized databases, your options to pinpoint your research increases from butter knife to scalpel level of precision. After all, you don't need 12,000 results, you need about a dozen results that fit your information needs.

4) SEARCH STRATEGIES : Before beginning search consider the following search strategies: 

  • Search phrases in " ".  Quotes.  Such as "literary criticism" or "human resource management."
  • Expand keyword search with *.  Asterisk. flowe* = flowers, flowering, flowered
  • Boolean Search - What is a Boolean Search?
    • Use AND to connect concepts.  Tobacco AND advertising
    • Use OR to expand search.  Tobacco OR Cigarettes
    • Use NOT to further define a search.  Florida AND Plants NOT Nuclear

5) SEARCH TERMS: Enter search terms and phrases. Use drop down box to select the area to be searched - keyword is a good default if unsure.  Select Full Text.  Select Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.  Press Search.

6)  SEARCH RESULTS : Your Search Results page is full of information and help. 

Identifying a Scholarly Article in your search results. Remember, the search identifies a scholarly journal, not a scholarly article.  Scholarly journals can contain books reviews, letters to the editor and other non peer reviewed content.

  • Original research and news to scholars and professionals.
  • Highly specialized academic, scientific and medical.
  • Written by actual scientists and researchers.
  • Published by professional organization or academic institution.
  • Used the language of the discipline.
  • Research is followed by supporting and mentioned resources in a list of citations.
  • Format usually follows a format, such as, literature survey, study parameters, data, study results and conclusion.
  • Reviewed by committee of peers or organized professional group.

The Academic Search Complete search results page has three columns.

  • The left column helps narrow items down.  If you forgot to select for Full Text or Peer Reviewed results, it allows you to do so. You can also select date ranges, such as the last five years. Below that is source types you can focus on specifically, such as, newspapers only. The next two sections Subject : Thesaurus Term and Subject suggest keywords and related ideas.
  • The middle column contains search result titles and detailed information. It lists authors, publication name and page numbers. It often also has a rich list of Subjects that have been provided by the author or publication. Often these are more current and relevant than the one's listed on the left. Use relevant ones in other searches. The image following the search result number lets you know what format the information is in: Academic Jounnal, Magazine, Newspaper and so on. Underneath your search results there are often images associated with the article.
  • The third column has a section of images. Following the images is an Ask A Librarian widget that allows you to contact an SCF Librarian for help.

This is a general overview. There is also a HELP link on the EBSCO page.  EBSCO also has an account you can sign up for free to use to store searches and information. Always feel free to ask a Librarian for more detailed EBSCO help.

7)  SELECTING SOURCES:  From the search results, select a title to review. This takes you to a page that has citation elements, abstract, DOI numbers and more.  If it is HTML full text, the article follows this information.  If it is PDF, the link is in the left hand column. The abstract is not the article.  Make sure to read the full text of an item in order to ethically cite it for your work. 

To the right of this page are options to send, save and cite the source.  Two things to remember:

  1. When sending, saving or emailing - make sure the page(s) you want is the page(s) you are on for that action.
  2. If using the provided citation information, copy and correct it.  Often this information is in the wrong format and has issues that require correction.


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