Skip to Main Content

Finding Articles

This guide will lead you through the steps for finding articles.

Why use articles?

Articles are great sources for information for your research, especially:

  • For highly specific information
  • For the most recent or "cutting-edge" information available
  • As an excellent source of historical information

Also, articles usually include bibliographies, which can lead you to additional information on a topic.

Articles are available from many different types of publications, including: scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, chapters in books, conference proceedings, technical reports, trade journals, etc.

How Do I Find Journal Articles?

Finding articles using the URI Libraries

Journal Articles can be found in the URI Libraries by searching through its databases.

A database is a search tool (similar to a search engine) that contains citations to journal articles (although, sometimes other materials/article types can be found within the database).

The best way to begin your article search is to choose a general database, such as Academic Search Complete. However, you may also choose a specific database that matches your topic. 

When looking for ARTICLES on the URI Library Home Page, click on the link titled Articles & Databases.

Once here, scroll through the list of databases or use the pull-down menu in the upper left to narrow your search to one of the specific subjects listed. Then choose the database you would like to search, such as Academic Search Complete, and click on the link.

Whatever database you choose, your next step is to type your "search terms" in the boxes and hit Search.

Enter your "search terms" as a Boolean style search (which means do not type in a phrase or question). For example, type in "environment" AND "transportation," or other keywords that describe your topic. It is helpful to simplify your "search terms" as much as possible to the main ideas of your topic.

However, if you get too many results, you can narrow your search down, by adding additional search terms.

Once you have your results, it is helpful to limit your search by "relevance," usually found at the top of the results page.

In examining your results, clicking on the Title link will bring you to the full record. The full record provides additional information about the article, including:

  • the abstract (summary of the article)
  • information about the author/s
  • the source or journal the article came from
  • citation information (author's name, title of the article, title of the periodical/journal that contains the article, including the date of publication, volume and issue number, and page numbers)

To view the FULL-TEXT for the article, look for a link that says HTML full text or PDF full text. Clicking on either of these links will bring you to the complete text of the article.

If these options are not available, look for a link titled, Search @ URI Libraries. Click on this and look for a link to the article (usually half-way down the page).

However, if you need additional help, please feel free to ask any questions at the Research Help Desk

You will also need to decide what type of article you need for your research in terms of scholarly, professional, trade, or popular. Reviewing this link can help you understand the differences between these two types of articles.

CITATIONS: As referred to above, 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.

If you need help citing correctly, please look at this helpful guide: Citing Correctly

Wikipedia and Google Scholar


According to Wikipedia's own page, "Wikipedia: Researching with Wikipedia," -

Wikipedia can be a great tool for learning and researching information. However, as with all reference works, Wikipedia is not considered to be a reliable source as 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 most academic institutions, Wikipedia, like most encyclopedias and other tertiary sources, is unacceptable as a source for facts in a research paper. Some encyclopedias such as Encyclopædia Britannica have notable authors working for them and may be cited as a secondary source in some cases; institutional policies will vary. For example, Cornell University's online guide to APA style uses citations from Britannica in some of its examples.

Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia. 24 August 2021




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:

  • The Article 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.
  • 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. 

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