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DHS 3000 Dr. Kopf: Literature Searching

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 article
  • 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.

3. Click on "academic journals" on the left.

Pro tip: The "academic journals" limiter does not guarantee that every article in your list will be original research. There are several types of articles published in academic journals.

4. Use the date limiter on the left to look for the most recent articles.

5. Look for clues in the titles to determine if the article is an original research article.

6. Click on an article title and read through the abstract (overview) of the article. If it is an original research article, it should mention the research methods the authors used to collect data.

Steps for following the citation chain backward

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

The way to identify if BGSU has access to the source requires several steps

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 article was published.

4. If BGSU has a subscription, you will see one or more options for accessing the journal. Each link for access should include the dates of coverage.

5.You will also see a box that says "search inside this journal". Search for the first 5-7 words of the title of the article. If this doesn't work, go back to step 4 and select the option that matches the day, month, and year and/or the volume and issue number in which the article was published. Look for your article's title in the list of all of the articles published in that issue.

APA Style Examples

Strategies for reading scholarly articles

Books and Chapters about Literature Reviews from the Human Services Perspectives

Ongoing Research Support

Ask a Librarian

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

EBSCO Tutorial