How to Find Journal Articles


Scientists and engineers publish much of their research as articles within scholarly journals. These journals use a peer-review process to insure their quality: each article must be approved by a group of experts before it is published. In order to find these journal articles, you should use the following two-step process:

Step 1. Identify relevant articles.

  1. Search article databases.
  2. Examine references in articles and books.

Step 2. Get the full text.

  1. Use UC-eLinks.
  2. Search OskiCat.

Step 1. Identify Relevant Articles

Choose an Article Database:
The library provides access to numerous article databases, covering a wide range of subjects. The key to efficient library research is choosing an article database appropriate for your topic and assignment. Access article databases for science and engineering using the Databases A-Z page.

Use the following questions to help you choose an appropriate article database for your search:

  • What subject or discipline covers your topic? Is it multidisciplinary or specialized?
  • Do you need basic sources, professional/trade information, or scholarly research?
  • Do you need articles written for a general, a novice, or a specialist audience?

If you need research published prior to the online coverage of these article databases, ask a librarian for assistance.

Search for Relevant Articles:
After you choose an article database, you need to search it for relevant articles. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Search for keywords first, then use subjects or descriptors for more precise searching.

  • Use truncation to find variant endings, including singular and plural forms.

  • Use boolean operators to combine keywords:
    AND to find all your keywords and phrases
    OR to find at least one of your keywords or phrases
    NOT to exclude a keyword or phrase

  • If you find too many articles, narrow your search:
    Search using more specific keywords.
    Use AND to add keywords to your search.
    Limit your search by language, publication date, publication type, or treatment.

  • If you find too few articles, broaden your search:
    Search using less specific keywords.
    Use OR to add synonyms to your search.

Step 2. Get the Full Text

After you identify a relevant article, you need to see if UCB owns the journal in which it appears.

Use UC-eLinks
In many article databases, you can use UC-eLinks in order to:

  • Link directly to the full text online when available through library subscription.
  • Check OskiCat to see if UCB has it.
  • Request it if UCB does not own it.

Search OskiCat

In some cases, you will need to search for the journal title yourself in OskiCat. This is also the most efficient method for finding articles that you have identified by examining references in other articles and books.

  1. Choose Title as your search type, then enter the journal title as your search. Put your title in quotation marks if you are searching an exact phrase (e.g., "Journal of Biomechanical Engineering").
  2. View your search results, looking for the record that matches your journal.
  3. Click into the title to locate the call number and location. If we have online access, a link will be provided.

Note: If you have an abbreviated title, choose Title or Keyword(s) as your search type and search on the abbreviation. If this does not work, ask a librarian for assistance.

Ordering Articles not found at UCB

Current UCB faculty, staff, and students can request articles from journals that are not available in the UCB Libraries. Use the Request service in UC-eLinks, or consult our guide on Borrowing from Other Libraries for other options.

Page owner: Lisa Ngo