Library Find Journal Articles Finding Journal Articles

Finding Journal Articles

Articles in journals are excellent sources of information for assignments. They are often the place where research is first published. Besides being more up to date than information published in books, they usually concentrate on topical issues or detail particular aspects of a subject.

References to journal articles can come from several sources: they may be mentioned on your subject reading list or you may have to use One Search or a journal database to find articles on a specific subject or topic.

One Search

One Search is a great place to start; it is easy to use and searches multiple databases simultaneously.  It covers most, but not all of JCU’s journal holdings.


Journal databases provide references to articles in a number of different journals. Databases can be very general in subject coverage or they may concentrate on specific subject areas, such as psychology or marine biology.

Choosing the most suitable Database for your search

  • Consult the LibGuides web page to see the most useful databases for your subject area

  • Use the Databases web page to view a complete list and descriptions of all the databases that JCU subscribes to

Searching Databases

  • Databases vary in their subject content and search screens, but the same general searching techniques apply to all databases. To construct an effective search you will need to identify the keywords from your topic, and combine them to create a search statement. Usually you have to join these terms together by using one of the Boolean operators, AND, OR, and NOT

  • Some records in your search results will contain a link to the full text of the article. Otherwise, click on the yellow ‘Find it at JCU’ button to check if the full text is available. You will usually have an option to save, email or print any citations/articles you have selected or downloaded

  • Each database has its own suite of up-to-date help guides, and you should find those guides and use them (ask InfoHelp for help finding these guides if you cannot locate them in the database itself).  Some databases require special instruction for JCU students, and you can find that information on the database guides we have on many of our LibGuides, or on the databases' own help pages.

NOTE: The JCU Library does not subscribe to all the journals indexed by the databases and does not have access to the full text of every citation retrieved. If you need an article that is not held by the JCU Library, it can often be obtained for you through the Interlibrary Loans Service. There is a charge for this service.