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English 160W

This guide is for Dr. Krichevsky's Fall 2020 English 160W class.

Video: Finding Databases (and Journals) in Your Field of Study / Discourse Community 

How to Find Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles 

The library has journal articles in 3 primary formats: print, microfilm, and online. Although you may find some older journals that are in print or microfilm, the best way to find current scholarly articles is to look online. 





You can find online articles in 3 different ways (explained in more detail in the tabs above): 

1. OneSearch

The OneSearch discovery tool on the library homepage will search all of our books, ebooks, and many of our databases. This can be a good place to start, but you may find that you get too many results using this tool. 

2. Library Databases

Searching databases directly can be useful if you want to focus on a particular field of study. Each database provides access to different journals. You can find out which databases are best to use for your topic by going to Databases by Subject. This is useful because you can limit your search to databases that include journals in a particular discipline or research area. 

3. Google Scholar

This is the broadest search strategy and can be the most comprehensive, especially if you are looking for an obscure or narrowly focused topic and haven't had success with OneSearch of the library's databases. 

I'd suggest using more than one of the three tools for finding online journals articles above. No one is better than another, but they may yield different results. Each is described on the tabs linked above. 

Using OneSearch to Find Articles

1. Start on the library homepage, and in the OneSearch box, enter the keywords for your topic and click Articles
Hint: Keep your keywords simple and avoid any unnecessary language (e.g. and, the, of, about, effects, influence, etc...). A quick search on Wikipedia can often help you find search terms that you can use to look for articles. Make a list of synonyms and related terms and use those in your search. 

2. The next page will display your results.  On the left side of the screen, click the option for Peer Reviewed Journals.  Articles with full text will display an Online full text available link. Articles without full text can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

Video: Using OneSearch

Using the Library's Databases

How to Find Databases in Your Research Area

  1. Start at  the Library Homepage
  2. Beneath the search box, choose the link Databases by Subject
  3. Select one of the subjects areas. Here you will see a list of databases that are relevant to this subject. Click on the database name to search directly. Remember that it's always a good idea to search in more than one database.
  4. When you get your results list, click on the link that says "Find It @ Fresno State" in the article you want to see if the library has it in another database or in print or microfilm. You will sometime also see a PDF or HTML link from the article that will take you directly to the full text.

If you're not sure where to start...

Academic Search Ultimate An excellent database to start with for just about any topic, Academic Search Ultimate contains over 13,000 academic journals, magazines, and newspapers. Content covers all subject areas with material from 1887 to the present.

Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar is also a great tool for finding scholarly content, including journal articles. If you aren't on the Fresno State campus, the first thing you will need to do is to change your settings in Google Scholar to link to the library's holdings information (so you can find out if and where we have it and how to get the full text). If you just click on the title of an article in Google Scholar, you will most likely be asked to purchase the article. 

1. First, click on the "Settings" link in Google Scholar
2. Then, click on "Library Links." 
3. Next, search for "Fresno State" and check the box next to "CSU Fresno - Find it at Fresno State" and click "Save." 
4. Now, when you do a search in Google Scholar, you will see an extra link either below or to the right of the article citation (you may need to click on "More" to see it). 
5. The Find it @ Fresno State page tells you where to access the full text if we have it or will link you to interlibrary loan to request it (may take up to 2 weeks, but most arrive much quicker). Keep in mind that most of the library's articles are available electronically through the databases but there are some that are in print or microfilm. Stop by the Research Help Desk on the first floor of the library if you need help finding these articles. 

Didn't Find What You Were Looking For? Request It From Another Library. 

The Library offers two options for requesting materials from other libraries:


  • Find and request books and media from all 23 CSU libraries. 
  • Materials arrive in 2-4 business days
  • Most books have 60 day lending periods, no renewals. Media items (DVD's, audio CD's, etc.) usually 30 days, no renewals
  • Select the CSU+ Books and Media collection in Onesearch to find and request materials

Interlibrary Loan

  • Request articles and books not in CSU+ (not textbooks) through interlibrary loan
  • Books typically arrive in 7-10 business days, articles in 2-3 business days
  • Loan period for books varies, as is set by lending library. Articles arrive in PDF format and are accessible for 30 days
  • To request an item, log into your interlibrary loan account, and fill out a new request form

Do You Have a Citation & Want to Find the Full Text? 

To find a specific article when you have citation information (name, article title, date, etc...), try using the Citation Linker tool on the library's website. 

You can also use Google Scholar to find out if other authors have cited a specific article. This can help you to find other articles that are relevant to your topic and to figure out the interconnections among various articles and research.

Simply perform your search from the Google Scholar search page and then click on the Cited by link at the bottom of each citation in your results. Be aware that the number of results you find are limited to the content that is available on the web.