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First Year Seminar 2017

Library Information for first year seminar students.

Why use articles?

Journal article front pagesAcademic articles are good resources because:

  • They provide information about specific and recent topics
  • They include bibliographies to refer you to additional information
  • Many articles are scholarly or peer-reviewed, meaning they have been critically reviewed by experts to ensure they are of highest quality and especially suitable for academic resources.

Image from George Mason University, Guide on the Side.


Use Summon to search all of the Library's databases at once.

  1. Enter key words in the search box
  2. After you press 'search', use filters on the left to refine results to include journal articles, full-text, and, if desired, scholarly/peer-reviewed
  3. Click on the title to access the full text



Hint: Click the folder icon to save articles into a temporary folder. When finished searching, open the folder, choose your citation format, and email them to yourself. Now you won't lose citations and links to your articles!


See Databases A-Z to search for databases. Most databases are paid for by the library, but some are freely available to all. 

Specific databases to try include:


Browsing or searching journals is useful when you already have a specific topic/focus for your research. For example, if you are researching slavery you might want to take a look at the journal titled Civil War History.

Using the search box on the Library's homepage:

  1. Click the Journals tab
  2. Enter the title of the journal
  3. Click Search
  4. Retrieve a list showing all available formats for the journal
  5. For online access click the link
  6. Find print journals in the Current Periodical section
  7. Find microfilm behind the Research Services Desk

Need Help? Ask at the User Services or Research Services desks!

Google Scholar

Search Google Scholar with keywords to find citations and some full text articles. 

Look for the  "Find Full-Text" link to the right of the citation. 

Click the link to retrieve the full text of the article from our Library's databases.

If you want more tips and tricks on how to use Google Scholar, listen to this archived recording of Library Land, the library's weekly radio show!