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HIS 382: Modern Latin America: Finding Articles

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Finding Articles

Identifying and locating articles on your topic is a simple 3-step process. If you are looking for a specific article, skip to step 4.

1. Choose a Reference Database
  • Reference Databases are indexes of articles in a certain subject area. You can search for articles by subject, title, and/or author.
  • To identify the best database for your need, click on a relevant category and review the database descriptions or see the librarians’ recommendations in the Subject Guides.
2. Search the Database
  • Decide what type of article – scholarly or popular – you need.
  • Use significant keywords or subject terms to describe your topic when searching.
  • Scan your results to identify citations that seem relevant or interesting.


3. Get the article(s).
Be aware that articles come from various library resources. You may need to:
  • Search in the URI Libraries Search​ for the journal title to see if the Library subscribes to this journal – either in print or electronically.
  • Follow the links from the citation to the full-text online article.
4. Already have a citation for a specific article?
  • To see if the Library subscribes to the journal electronically, use the e-Journal List.
  • Search in the URI Libraries Search for the journal title to see if the Library subscribes to this journal in print.


Why should I use articles?
  • Articles are a great source of highly specific information for your research.
  • Articles can provide the most recent information available.
  • Articles are an excellent source of historical information.
  • Articles are available from many different types of publications: scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, chapters in books, conference proceedings, technical reports, trade journals, etc.


Why not use Wikipedia?
"Wikipedia can be a great tool for learning and researching information. However, like all sources, not everything in Wikipedia is accurate, comprehensive, or unbiased. Many of the general rules of thumb for conducting research apply to Wikipedia, including:
  • Always be wary of any one single source (in any medium–web, print, television or radio), or of multiple works that derive from a single source.
  • Where articles have references to external sources (whether online or not) read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says.
  • In all academic institutions, Wikipedia, along with most encyclopedias, is unacceptable as a major source for a research paper."

Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia. 20 Feb 2009

What are citations and why should I care?
Citations are short notations that identify a published work. They are found in bibliographies, lists of references, and in databases. They contain all the information you need to identify and track down articles.

Here’s an example of an article citation in MLA format:
Snyder, C. R., and H. S. Shorey. “Hope and Academic Success in College.” Journal of Educational Psychology 94.4 (2002): 820-26.

And the breakdown:
Author's name(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Periodical That Contains Article volume and issue number (year published): page numbers.

Additional information will be required if article is in electronic format. See style guides for detailed instructions.


How do I cite articles correctly?
There are many different citation styles; check with your instructor about which citation style to use. Style guides are available at the Library’s Reference Desk. Limited versions of these guides are also available online, including:


Need more help? Contact a Reference Librarian.
  • Stop by one of the URI Libraries' Reference Desks
  • Call us at (401) 874-2653
  • Send us a message using AOL Instant Messenger (AIM): URILibrarian


Google Scholar
We've included a link to the search tool, Google Scholar. While it is possible to find quality information, including articles, using Google Scholar, please remember:
  1. The Reference Databases available through the University Library's subscriptions are more comprehensive search tools and can provide better, more specific results than Google Scholar. Learn more about Google Scholar.
  2. Google Scholar often provides appropriate citations but cannot always provide the full-text articles. You may even be asked to pay for an article. Use this guide to find which articles are available through the University Library at no cost to you. Use Interlibrary Loan to request any articles not available at the Library. Search Google Scholar.

For assistance
If you need further assistance, please stop by the Reference Desk, IM us, or call (401) 874-2653.

Subject Guide

Amanda Izenstark's picture
Amanda Izenstark

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Created and Revised By

Created by
M. MacDonald, 7/98

Revised by
K. Cheromcha & M. MacDonald, 3/08
M. MacDonald, 9/09

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.