Finding Articles

Why use articles for research?

  • For very recent, current information
  • Cover very specific subjects
  • Popular topics
  • Alternative viewpoints
  • Reports on scholarly research

Five easy steps to locate articles

  • Decide on your topic
  • Zero in on a specific aspect of the topic
  • Pick keywords
  • Choose the best online article database or periodical index

Why use a database?

What is the best article database to start with?

Can't find what you need online?

Search database for citations

Search strategy: subjects vs keywords

Tricks on combining search terms

Search for citations

Understanding a citation

How to cite articles in your paper

Locate the articles

Is there full text or an image of the article online?

Can't find articles you need online?

Should I use this article?

Choose the best article database to start with

For articles on general topics, EbscoHost or Sirs Knowledge Source is likely to be the best place to begin looking. EbscoHost is the largest, and SIRS is especially good if you have a social issue topic. If you need more articles, try another database. Can't find what you need online? - try a periodical index or ask us for suggestions.

Why use an article database?

Let your fingers do the walking! Article databases are collections of articles and information about articles. Each has a different group of magazines, journals and/or newspapers. Use an article database to

  • identify articles on a specific topic
  • get citations for your bibliography
  • full text articles - click to read
  • print off or email article to yourself

Note: You could browse piles of magazines

If you have lots of time you can flip through thousands of issues of our 618 magazine titles, looking for great articles on your topic. This is NOT the easy way! Be smart. Let your fingers do the walking - in an online article database!

From the Library's webpage (, click "Find Articles." Note: From off-campus, most article databases are available only to OKC Community College students, faculty or staff members.

Search for citations

Different article databases work slightly differently, but they all allow you to find articles on a topic.

Example: Using EbscoHost article database.

Choose EbscoHost.

Click Academic Search Elite.

Type in your topic. Press Enter.

You should see a list of articles. These were all published in magazines or newspapers.

Your results will have

  • author (may or may not be listed)
  • title of article
  • source (journal or newspaper)
  • date, volume, issue number, page number

Together, this information is your citation.

Many of these articles have full text. Click on full text to read the article. If you want to print the article, use your print card. You can also email it to yourself.


  • Getting too many irrelevant items? Click "Subject" instead of pressing "Enter" or "All Words."
  • Looking for an author? Try family name, first name (Steinbeck, John).

More tips?

Understanding a citation

A citation is a brief reference to a source used in a book, article or essay. It allows someone else to locate a specific source you used in your paper.

As you do research you will find different citation formats. Here is a common example:

The World's Biggest Copy Machine:
By: Ardito, Stephanie C.;
Information Today
Mar2003, Vol. 20 Issue 3
p17, 2p

How to cite articles in your paper

Don't forget to record the citation information at the time you find the article! It can be a nightmare to find that information at the last minute. If you are using a print resource (such as a reference book, it is often helpful to photocopy the title page of the book). Check the correct format to use.

Locate the articles

Is there full text or an image of the article online? Click to read the article. Email or print it out.

Can't find articles you need online?

Got the citation for an article but no full text?
Check the Library catalog or Print and Online Magazine/Journal Subscriptions - maybe the Library subscribes to the regular paper magazine.

How to find magazines and newspapers on the shelf

Find magazines by their titles (alphabetically) on the shelves. Older issues of many magazines are stored on microfiche. Copies are 10 cents a page.

If the Library does not own the journal or magazine you need, check to see if another local library owns it, or request the article through Interlibrary Loan.