Finding Journal Articles

James A. Gibson Library




Finding Journal Articles


Library research tools used to locate articles in journals are usually called indexes, or abstracts if a summary of the articles is provided. Indexes/abstracts which are available in electronic format are referred to as databases. Some databases also include the full text of selected journal articles.

Indexes/abstracts/databases may also provide access to other types of resources such as book chapters, books, conference papers, dissertations, documents, newspaper articles and research reports.

Using an index/database to find articles in journals is more effective than browsing through the journals at random.

Indexes/Databases such as PsycINFO which indexes the literature of psychology, may cover one specific subject. Others, such as Academic Search Premier or Scholars Portal e-Journals, may be used to locate journal articles on many subjects.

 Assistance is available from the Help Desk.

Where are the Indexes/Databases?

Databases, listed by title and subject, are accessible from the Brock Library Home Page Banner under Research -->DATABASES. Some databases are available only within the Library. Others are also available externally, although access may be restricted to current Brock students, faculty and staff.

How to Use the Indexes/Databases

A subject search in one of these indexes/databases will provide a list of journal article citations. A journal citation includes the author of the article, title of the articles, the name of the journal, the volume number, issue number (usually), date and page numbers. An abstract, or summary, of the articles may also be included. For example, a subject search on trees and ice storm in the CBCA database results in the following citation:

Brose, P., & Waldrop, T.. (2010). A dendrochronological analysis of a disturbance-succession model for oak-pine forests of the Appalachian Mountains, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 40(7), 1373. 

How to Find Journal Articles in the Library

Click here to watch a video tutorial on finding a journal article when you have a citation.

If the text of the article is provided in a database, it may be printed, downloaded or e-mailed.

If fulltext is not available, or if a print index is used, record the name of the journal, the volume number, date and pages. A Title search in the Brock Library Catalogue under the Journal Title will determine if the Library owns the journal. The call number for the journal and the floor location will be given or a link to the journal in electronic format.

If the article is not available in the Library, a copy may be requested through the Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Service. Photocopies of journal articles are for the user's retention. Cost of this service is currently subsidized by the Library for the Brock community.

More Help

Indexes vary in format, content and accessibility.  For databases, check for Help Screens or Tutorials online while searching the database. For print sources, detailed instructions are usually available at the front of each volume. Also, check our Tutorials page for help videos and resources. Some databases have a thesaurus of subject terms which can be used to make searches more relevant. These may be part of the database or in print.

Assistance is available at the Help Desk.