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Education: All-in-one: Finding Articles

Finding Education Articles

Finding articles for research or class assignments doesn't have to be stressful. The process becomes much easier with a little bit of planning and knowing where to look. This page provides information and tips for locating education articles. However, much of this information can be used for other disciplines as well.

Where to start?

There are many places to search for education articles. Here we will list the best options for starting out your search for education articles. Click on the links below to access the database. You will need to log in with your UANet ID and password if you are off-campus. You can find a list of all education databases by clicking here.

Finding An Article From Citation

Accessing an article from a citation is a very simple process. Let's quickly cover reading a citation just in case you are unsure or unfamiliar with citations. We will use an APA style citation since APA is what you will more than likely be using in your education courses. The following is a sample citation and a color-coded explanation for each element.

 

Wilson, G. L., Kim, S. A., & Michaels, C. A. (2013). Factors Associated With Where Secondary Students With Disabilities Are Educated and How They Are Doing. Journal of Special Education, 47(3), 148-161. doi:10.1177/0022466911411575

This article was published in 2013 in the Journal of Special Education volume 47 issue number 3 and the article is on pages 148-161.

 

Retrieving an article is very simple once you can read a citation.

Step 1: From any University Libraries webpage, including this one, you can click on "E-Journals" on the blue banner towards the top of the page. This will open up a search of the journal titles that we have electronic access to here at UA.

Step 2: Search for the name of the journal.

Step 3: Once you have found your journal, click on "Full Text Access". You should now see all of the resources that contain your journal electronically.

Step 4: Choose one of the full text access links which has coverage for the year your article was published. Note: One particular journal may be available through multiple sources and each of those sources has different rights to what part of the journal they can provide access to. The options to access the journal from our above example will look like this.

 

 
In our example, you would want to make sure to pull the article from one of the two circled resources since both of them include the year 2013 in the access they provide.
 
Step 5: Navigate within the resource you have selected to download your article. Each resource will be a little different but most of them open up to the list of volumes or you may need to click on something such as "Browse All Issues," "Previous Issues," or something along those lines.

 

Quick Searching Tips

  • Take some time to make a plan before starting your search. Sure, this will take you more time but you will end up saving time as your searching will be more methodical and precise. Think of keywords, synonyms, main ideas, etc. related to your topic. Write them down and think about which ones may be best. This is much better than clicking around here and there and hoping to find what you need.
  • Strengthen your searches by connecting your keywords with "AND" or "OR". Putting AND between your keywords will make the database search for articles with both of your keywords. For example, a search for "education AND autism" will return all articles with "education" and "autism" in them. Similarly, you can put OR between your terms to make the database return all articles with either of your terms. For example, a search for "reading OR literacy" will return any article that has "reading" or "literacy" in it.
  • Similarly, you can use a tool called truncation to save some time. In most databases, including those listed on this page, you can put an asterisk (*) at the end of a string of letters to return all possible word combinations that start with those letters. For example, a search for educ* would return all articles with the words education, educational, educate, educator, etc.
  • Spend enough time to find a handful of great articles on your topic. That sounds obvious but it can be tempting to stop searching after finding a couple of articles which might be "good enough". Thoroughly looking through the literature can help you understand the keywords that the databases and/or authors use to talk about your topic. You can then use these terms to quickly elevate the success of your searching.
  • Don't be afraid to let someone else do the hard work. If you invest enough time into finding some great articles on your topic, it is likely that those authors have done a good job reviewing the literature already. Make sure to look through the citations and references of a good article for more articles you can pull to read for yourself!
  • Use more than one resource. Using at least two resources helps you be more comprehensive with your search. It may also save you time and frustration. Often times searching the same resource over and over again will not turn up anything new. Switching to a different resource can breathe life into a failing search.
  • Always remember that education is interdisciplinary. In other words, you may not always need an “education” resource to answer your question. For example, consider a person interested in motivating students. They may want to consult with some psychology resources with a topic like motivation. Always consider other potential “non-education” resources and how they can benefit you.

Searching Tutorials

The following short video tutorials cover developing and using keywords. Both videos are very informative and provide great examples of locating articles on a given topic. They are strongly suggested and definitely worth a few minutes of your time!



Did you find an article but cannot access it?

You should NEVER pay for an article. Consider contacting the library if you are experiencing trouble accessing an article. Library staff can quickly determine if you are facing an IT-related problem or if you should request the article via Interlibrary Loan.