Finding Journal Articles involves the following steps:
Some additional steps:
Details for each step are provided below.
Accessing the Databases
Selecting a Database
Access Google Scholar on the Databases page so you will see the option FindIt@TxState with your search results. This options allows you to see if the full text of an article is available through the library.
Developing a Search Strategy
Once you have selected a database(s) you will need to come up with a search strategy to search for articles in the database. The following steps will help you create a search strategy.
|In people who have had strokes how effective are treadmills in helping them with walking?||stroke, treadmills, walking|
Search Database for Subject Terms/MeSH terms for concepts
Search for one concept at a time in the thesaurus/Subject Terms. Add any terms to your search string.
Example search for stroke in CINAHL Subject Headings:
Add Search Commands to the Search String
Most databases recognize the following commands:
|Boolean Command AND||stroke AND treadmill AND walking brings back articles that mention all three concepts.|
|Boolean Command OR||stroke OR cerebral vascular accident brings back articles that mention either concept.|
|Boolean Command NOT||NOT heat stroke will exclude articles that mention the concept.|
|Phrase Searching||"cerebral vascular accident" returns articles containing the exact phrase in the order it is typed.|
|Truncation||walk* returns articles containing words with the root addict such as walk, walks, walker, walking|
Put it all together
The search string below will bring back articles that mention the following terms:
stroke AND treadmill AND walk (walks, walking, walker, etc..)
cerebral vascular accident AND treadmill AND walk (walks, walking, walker, etc..)
Find Additional Keywords
It is unlikely that you will find all of the articles you need with your first search string. You will have to try different search combinations using different keywords.
You can find additional terms in the subject terms found in an article record.
When you find an article that is relevant to your research, click on the title of the article and look for the subject terms listed in the article record. Add the relevant terms to your search string with the appropriate commands.
Add the relevant terms to your search string with the appropriate commands.
Filtering Search Results
Once you have perfected your search string and returned viable looking results, you may need to filter the results list, especially if you have more than 20 results. At the very least you will want to limit the results to Peer-Reviewed articles.
Many databases have filter/limiter tools that allow you to filter the results. Look for these tools on the search interface.
The example below shows the limiters for Peer-Reviewed and publication date in CINAHL Ultimate:
The Show More option in CINAHL allows you to narrow to more limiters including:
Save and Cite your Sources
Many databases have tools that allow you to save articles or export them to a Citation Manager, and most databases have a citation generator. Be sure to...
The tools below are from the database CINAHL Ultimate, but most databases have tools so be sure to look for them!
Checking if an article is Peer-Reviewed
If you are unsure if an article is Peer-Reviewed you can use the database Ulrichsweb to find out.
You might have to do a Google search for to find out the ISSN of the journal:
Example Google search: "Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development" ISSN