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DHS 3000 Dr. Cooke: Home

Exploring Peer-Reviewed Articles in Library Databases

1. Develop a search strategy.

  • Identify 2-4 keywords that describe the main concepts that should be represented in the sources you will include in your project.
  • Combine each concept with AND
  • Use the handout linked below (Generating and Combining Keywords) to learn more about identifying synonyms and related terms for a more thorough and efficient search.

2. Enter the search strategy you created in step 1 into the EBSCO suite of databases (linked below) to search for the scholarly conversation related to your research question.

  • Pro tip: You can also access the EBSCO suite of databases from our library home page ( It's two tabs over from the default search box, Summon.

Types of articles published in journals

This academic journal icon will appear with many results you find in EBSCO databases. However, you will need to take a closer look at each result to determine if it's a good fit for your project. For this project, you will most likely need to focus your attention on original research studies. The handout below describes the differences between the types of articles published in academic journals.

Citation Chaining

Backward Chaining: look for articles cited in the source you already have

How to check BGSU's journal subscriptions

  1. Begin at the BGSU Libraries home page.
  2. Select the "Journals by title" link underneath the Summon search box.
  3. Search for the title of the journal in which the source was published.
  4. If BGSU has a subscription, you will see one or more options for accessing the journal. Below those, you will see a search box to "search inside this journal".
  5. Add the first 3-5 words of the article title or the author's name in this search box to look for relevant articles within the journal. If this doesn't work for you, skip to steps 6-8
  6. If BGSU has a subscription, you will see one or more options for accessing the journal. Each link for access should include the dates covered.
  7. Select the option that matches.the day, month, and year and/or the volume and issue number in which the source was published.
  8. Continue to drill down to the volume and issue number you need. When you get to the issue, your article title will be part of the list of all articles published in that issue.

Forward chaining: look for more recent articles that cite the relevant article you found

Google Scholar

  1. To begin, search for your item in Google Scholar using words from the title, the author, etc.
  2. The results will be ranked by relevance, with matching titles closer to the top. Beneath each entry, you will see a link that says "Cited by" and a number.  Look carefully, as there may be more than one entry matching your search.
  3. Clicking on "Cited by" will bring up a list of citing documents in Google Scholar. These are arranged with the most highly cited works at the top. To locate a copy of these works, you can look for [PDF] links on the right, or links to Find it @ BGSU to the right.
  4. You can further narrow you search by searching within the citing articles.  Just check the box below the search box, and enter your search.  The results will be a subset of the citing articles identified above.

Learning outcomes for today's session

I feel confident in my ability to use library databases (EBSCO, Summon, etc) to find scholarly articles
Yes: 11 votes (52.38%)
No: 4 votes (19.05%)
Somewhat: 6 votes (28.57%)
Total Votes: 21
I feel confident in my ability to cite sources in APA style
Yes: 6 votes (25%)
No: 5 votes (20.83%)
Somewhat: 13 votes (54.17%)
Total Votes: 24
  • search for literature related to your research question

  • Identify types of research articles to determine relevance and fit for your project

  • recognize correct APA citation format for journal articles (periodicals)

In-class activity: Identify the type of article

Step 1. Click on the article title.

Step 2. Read the abstract (overview) provided for the article. (If the abstract is not present, click on "find it" or "PDF full text" to look at the full text).

Step 3. Look specifically for the purpose of the article and/or the research method used by the authors.

In-class activity: How is this APA citation different than the examples provided?

Step 1. Click on the article title.

Step 2. Click on "Cite" in the right-hand column

Step 3. Scroll down until you see APA 7th ed. style

Step 4. Compare the article citation with the example citations on our APA Style guide. Pay attention to details such as: punctuation, format (such as italics), and capitalization. Compare the example citations provided above with the rough draft citation provided by the database.

What Did You Learn?

Ongoing Support for this Assignment

Research Support

  • Schedule a one-on-one appointment with your librarian. Use the "Schedule Appointment" button in the "Librarian" box on this page.

EBSCO Tutorial

Reading Strategies

Writing Support (In-person and Virtual)

Citing Sources in APA Style


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Maureen Barry
152 Jerome Library