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Library Research Guide: Finding Articles

This is a general purpose guide with tips and tricks on how to conduct research using library resources.

Finding a Specific Article

Finding a specific article from a citation is trickier than you'd think. You can try to search for the title of the article in the General Search but articles often cannot be searched by their titles even if the library has access to them. If you cannot find it using the General Search, follow these steps to find the article:

Step 1: Search title of the journal in the library catalogue or the A-Z e-Journal List
Step 2: Select the title of the journal from the results list.
Step 3: Click on the online resource
Step 4: Select database that has the year of publication of your article
Step 5: Select the volume and the issue
Step 6: Search or scroll through the issue to find the article

Still having trouble? Check out our more detailed guide to fining a specific article.

Finding Journal Articles

To search for journal articles, you must select a database. A database serves as a table of contents to hundreds and even thousands of journals.

Research Topic: Why is anti-intellectualism pervasive in modern politics?


anti-intellectualism AND politics

Searching Academic Search Complete database for keywords: anti-intellectualism AND politics

For this search I have chosen to search the Academic Search Complete database as it is a large, multidisciplinary database and a great place to start. Academic Search Complete is hosted by Ebsco and all of Ebsco's databases look alike. If you are not getting enough results, you can click on the "Choose Databases" button at the top, next to "Searching: Academic Search Complete" and this will allow you to select other Ebsco databases to search all at once.

Image of the Academic Search Complete database "Refine Results" optionsRefine Results: 

Most databases will allow you to filter or refine your results, usually on the left or right hand side or the screen. Academic Search Complete allows you to refine your results by:

  • date or date range
  • source type (e.g. academic journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.)
  • subject: thesaurus term (extremely useful tool that will refine your results according to their subject but also include synonymous terms) 
  • language (so you can limit the results to articles in languages you can read)
  • geography (to refine by country)

These are only a few of the options when refining results in Academic Search Complete.

NEVER limit to full text as the library may have access to the full text version of an article through a different database or the library may have the article available in print. Click on the Get it @ UNBC button to check.




Search Tips


Wildcards/Truncation: Wildcards/truncation refers to the placement of an asterisk at the meaningful root of a word to retrieve results containing that word and all of its subsequent endings. Use a * at the end of the root word or use a ? in place of a letter.
Examples: environment* polic*, wom?n
Boolean Operators: Use "AND" or "OR" or "NOT" to narrow or broaden your search:
Use AND to make your search more specific and narrow your search.
Use OR to search for clusters of related terms enclosed in parentheses to broaden your search.
Use NOT to exclude words to narrow your search.
Example: (First Nations OR Aboriginal OR Indigenous) AND Canada
Field limits: Field limits are often set to search for keywords but you can change the field limit to search only the specified field for the specified word(s). For example:
Field limit: Author: Samuel Beckett
Field limit: Title: Waiting for Godot
Grouping:  Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.


Interlibrary Loans

Can't find a book or book chapter, article, thesis or dissertation, or multimedia that you need?

If we don't have the item in our collection, you can request it through interlibrary loan at no cost for students.

Choosing a Database

Our databases are located under the "Databases" tab on the library homepage.

You can search for the databases


Alphabetical list of databases under the databases tab on the library homepage

or by Subject:

Drop-down menu to browse databases by subject under the databases tab on the library homepage

Not sure where to start? Select the Multidisciplinary General Indexes To All Subjects.

If you want a shorter list of the most relevant databases check out the appropriate subject guide.

Get it @ UNBC on Google Scholar

Want to see if UNBC has the resources you find in Google Scholar?

  1. Click on the menu button (looks like 3 horizontal lines) in the top left corner
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Select Library Links
  4. Search for University of Northern British Columbia and hit Enter 
  5. Check the box next the the "University of Northern British Columbia - Get it @ UNBC"
  6. Click "Save" and you will be redirected to your search results with the Get it @ UNBC link next to the ones the UNBC library has access to

Get it @ UNBC button not working? Report A Problem! Use this form if you are experiencing any e-resource problem, including issues accessing library resources, error on one of the library webpages, or other technical problems.

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