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Introduction to Research

Finding Articles

Articles are important in your research, especially for detailed and current information on a topic. .

The library provides access to many different kinds of articles from newspaper articles to popular magazine articles to scholarly journal articles.  Whether you are starting with an idea for a topic or the citation for a specific article, the library can get you the article you need. 

Finding Articles on a Topic 

If you don't have a specific article but you want to find articles on a topic, you need to use a periodical index (print) or a database (online)

Finding the best articles requires that you select an appropriate database or index. Either Browse Databases by Subject or choose Research by Subject for a guide as to what indexes or databases would be best for your field of study. If you are unsure as to what index you should use for your particular topic, contact your subject librarian or use ASK US

Apply the same keyword strategies in electronic indexes that were successful in finding books.

Before searching, note the time coverage and the content of the electronic index (some are full text, others have only citations and some have citations and abstracts).

Print indexes are still valuable resources. They often cover more years than electronic indexes, some going back to the 19th century. Note time coverage and content of the print index and other information such as a guide to any abbreviations used in the index.

Remember to record the complete article citation:

  • Author
  • Article title
  • Journal or magazine title
  • Volume number of the journal or magazine
  • Date of publication
  • Page numbers
  • Section or column number (for newspaper citations)

Search QCAT to see if Queen's Library has a specific journal. After typing in the title in the search box, select Journal Exact in the drop-down menu.

Make sure that Queen's has the issue that you need. Periodicals are available in many different formats: loose issues, bound paper volumes, microfilm, and/or electronic.


Periodicals are publications issued periodically or at regular intervals: daily, weekly, monthly, semiannually, etc.

Usually each one is an issue and there is one volume per year, each volume consisting of multiple issues. Examples of periodicals include: scholarly or peer-reviewed journals, popular magazines, trade journals, and newspapers.   

See our page on evaluating journals to learn how to identify the difference between them. 

More information on Evaluating Articles (University of Lethbridge Library).

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