ED 319: Content Literacy and Assessment

Tips for Finding Articles

Combine your keywords using "Advanced Search." Put each concept into its own search box.

Use quotation marks when searching for specific phrases.

If you're not getting back enough results, add synonyms or related terms to each box using “OR.”If you can’t think of additional keywords, do a general Google search for your term or use the database's thesaurus or index to find related terms. 

If you're getting back too many results, try the following:

  • Add an additional concept to your search. Consider focusing on a particular population or more specific aspect of your original research question.

  • Try searching for your most important terms in the abstract field. Do this by changing the field name to "abstract" next to your search terms.

  • Use subject terms to search for the most relevant results.

If you aren't finding good results with HawkFind, switch to a subject-specific database.

Once you find a useful article, find additional articles by looking at the references. You can also enter the article title into Google Scholar to find articles that have cited your original article. See this handout for instructions. If you use Google Scholar, remember to check for peer-review using Ulrichsweb.

If you need help, contact a librarian.  

Search for Peer-Reviewed Articles in HawkFind

           Advanced Search

Scholarly & Peer Reviewed   Beyond Library Collection
Advanced Search

Best Bet Databases

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar does not allow you to filter your results to peer-reviewed journals. If you use Google Scholar, remember to check for peer-review by putting the journal title into Ulrichsweb.

Google Scholar Search

Check for Peer-Review

Not sure if a particular journal is peer-reviewed? Check out Ulrichsweb. This database (also found in the A-Z database list from "Quick Links" on the library website) provides detailed information on publications. Look for the referee icon to indicate it is a peer-reviewed journal.

The black and white “ref jersey” icon below indicates that Higher Education is a peer-reviewed journal, but Education Week is not.