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*GERO 8100 Research Methods in Gerontology (Burgess): Literature Search -
Finding Articles

Getting to Articles from Databases

1: Look for a "Full-Text" or "PDF" link that will take you directly to the article. If yes, great.  If not, go to #2.

2: Look for the FINDIT @ GSU button.  Click on it.  Look for the "Full text online" link at the top.  If yes, great. If not, you will see "Sorry, no electronic full text is available."  Go to #3.

3: If you see the "Sorry, no electronic full text is available" message, click the link below it that says "We may have a copy in print."  If yes, use document article delivery to have the article sent to you electronically (faculty and grad students only).  If we do not have it in print, go to #4.

4: Request the article you need through interlibrary loan - typically arrive within 1 day, so definitely worth trying!

Annual Reviews

Annual Reviews are comprehensive literature reviews on topics - a great way to familiarize yourself with the research in an area and to mine the references for original research studies.  You can browse them or use the Advanced Search to search within specific ones.

Finding Academic/Scholarly Articles

Below are some possible databases to search - the ones that are bolded are my top recommendations.

** The following EBSCOhost databases can be searched simultaneously - Click on Ageline, then, before doing your search, click the Choose Databases, select the relevant databases for your research topic, and click OK. **

  • Ageline  Produced by AARP, focuses exclusively on the population aged 50+ and issues of aging - premier source for the literature of social gerontology and includes aging-related content from the health sciences, psychology, sociology, social work, economics, and public policy.
  • PsycINFO - good for psychological-services for aged.

*To limit to scholarly articles, use an Advanced Search, then check the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals box.

Some additional databases that might be useful - must search separately.

  • Sociological Abstracts - good for sociological topics.
  • Web of Science - all topics.
  • Google Scholar - all topics. To see the fulltext links for GSU: On Google Scholar main page, click More and then Settings at top center of screen, then at next screen click Library Links, at next screen search for Georgia State University, checkbox Georgia State University - FullText @ GSU.  Then, when you do a search and are looking at your results, look for underneath a result either the Find It @ GSU link or, if you don't see it, click the More link and then click the Find It @ GSU link.
  • LexisNexis Academic - good for policy-related topics.  Click Search by Content Type dropdown above search box to then narrow your search to law reviews (discussions and analyses of policies), specific court cases, and state or federal statutes/codes/regulations (i.e., legal policies).
  • PubMed - good for health-related topics

We have many more databases than these! To find others, check out our A-Z list, other research guides, or consult with me about what might be best to search for your topic.

Creating Alerts for Newly-Published Research

In EBSCOhost databases (e.g. Academic Search Complete, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, LGBT Life with Full Text, etc.):

  1. Login to your MyEBSCOhost account by clicking Sign In in top right corner of screen (if you need to make a MyEBSCOhost account, click Sign In and then click Create a new Account on sign-in screen).
  2. Choose all the EBSCOhost databases you want to search, enter your search strategy in the search field, and click Search button.
  3. On Results screen, click the Share button at top right of results list, then under Create an alert: click your desired mode of receiving alerts (E-mail Alert or RSS Feed).
  4. Set your preferences for frequency of receiving alerts, etc. (click Advanced Settings for more options if desired), then click Save Alert button.*

*You can also do the above in the EBSCOhost Discover search, if you'd like to search across all the EBSCOhost databases plus many others.

In Google Scholar:

  1. Sign in to your Google account (create one if you haven't already).
  2. Follow relevant steps on this page.

In Web of Science:

  1. Sign in to your Web of Science account ("Register" to create one if you haven't already).
  2. Follow steps on online help re: to WoS Citation Alerts and for Saved Searches Alerts.

In ProQuest Databases (e.g. Sociological Abstracts):

  1. Sign in to your My Research Account (or create one if you haven't already).
  2. Follow steps on online help re: Creating a Search Alert.

Off-Campus Access? YES!

Off-Campus Access? YES!  All databases and online journals are accessible from off campus - you'll be prompted to login with your CampusID/password at the beginning of a search session, than it should be seemless after that!

Cited Reference Searching

Found an incredibly relevant source for your topic?  Do cited reference searches to find researchers who are citing that relevant source - their research might be relevant to you as well, and even more current.

Mining References

Found an incredibly relevant source for your topic?  Mine its references for previously-published sources the authors are citing that might also be relevant to your research.