Library Research Guides > Help Guides > Find Journal Articles

Find Journal Articles

This tutorial covers:

  • What are journal articles?
  • What types of articles are in academic/scholarly journals?
  • How do I find journal articles by: article title, journal title, or database?
  • How do I request articles the library doesn’t own?

What are Journal articles?

Journal articles are one of the ways researchers share information with the rest of the world. This video covers  what peer review is and how to find peer reviewed articles.

Types of Journal Articles

Note: not every article in a peer-reviewed journal is a research article. In a database look for Document Type. Most assignments will require #1 and/or #2

  1. Original Research*
    1. Look for: words like “study”, “design” “experiment” or “analysis” in the abstract
    2. Common sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion
  2. Literature Review*
    1. Look for: summary of multiple articles on a topic
    2. Long page lengths
    3. Sections organized by themes
  3. Methodology/Theoretical
    1. Looks for: terms like “concepts”, “framework”, “model”, “theoretical foundation”, and “perspectives” in the abstract or title
    2. Difficult to read and understand
  4. News/Opinions/Book Reviews/Letters/
    1. Look for: reference to another publication, person, or event
    2. Not scholarly
    3. very short page length
  5. Case studies
    1. Look for: a description of a unique situation or events
    2. More common in medicine, business, social sciences
    3. May be too unique to be applicable to a larger population.

Finding articles by Subject/Topic

Primo searches journal articles from most databases. This video demonstrates the process.

Download PDf link in search results


Click on a database with the year the journal article was published (Listed under the details section). Don’t see the year you need? You may have to request the article (see ILL below)

View Online Database Links

Click the PDF image to access the Full-text

PDF full-text in Browzine

Finding articles by Article Title

Best Bet: Primo Everything Search

Find Articles by Journal Title

For some articles you will have to located the journal first to find the article.

  • Journals can be in print, microfilm, or online formats.
  • CUW Library print/paper journals are located in the South Wing.
  • CUW students can also request print journal articles from SWITCH Libraries.

You must know the journal title, article title, year, volume, issue, and pages of the article before requesting/finding a print article. This is often in a citation:

Brunero, S., Cowan, D., & Fairbrother, G. (2008). Reducing emotional distress in nurses using cognitive behavioral therapy: A preliminary program evaluation. Journal of Nursing Science5(2), 109-115.

All Article Scan Requests will be delivered via CUW email. CUW Scan Article Requests looks like this:

Scan request Form


Article scans from print journals from SWITCH libraries can also be requested via Primo.

  1. Use the advanced search to search for the journal title, with material type Journals in SWITCH Libraries.
Advanced Search in switch libraries

On the Journal page, click Switch Request.

Switch Request Option In Primo

2. Fill out the form and click Send Request. Be sure to select Digital article for format.

Switch digital article request form

If the  article you need is available, your request will appear in your Library Account under “My requests”.

my requests menu in Primo

Request articles the Library doesn't own

Every year CUW Library sets aside funds to request articles students and faculty need the library does not have access to. If you have searched Primo and Google Scholar and still can’t find the article, submit an Inter-library Loan or ILL Request.

Interlibrary loan request form

Top menu bar in Primo with ILL request circled

Subject Guides

Most databases have journal articles. Find database suggestions on your Subject Guide’s Databases tab. Many subject guides also have Journals & Articles tab as well.

Find Subject Guides in the drop down menu in the primary menu for this website.

Subject guides menu

Finding Journal Articles in Databases

Almost all databases have some journal articles. Databases are organized by subject and include descriptions of the types of items they have. Students must choose the right database based on the description. Click the name to open the database and search.

Here’s an example of a database from our list Databases A-Z. The important words are highlighted and bold:

Academic Search Complete (EBSCOhost) Comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 7,000 full-text periodicals, including nearly 6,000 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 11,000 journals and a total of more than 11,600 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc.

This database is:

  • Subject: multi-disciplinary
  • Full-text and Index only items (not everything is full-text)
  • Scholarly and peer-reviewed items
  • Types of documents included: articles, journals, monographs, reports, conference proceedings

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