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PHIL 4760: Ethics and Contemporary Public Policy (Andrew I. Cohen, Fall 2022): Searching for Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Sources

Do We Have That? Checking For Availability

To find out if the GSU Library provides access to a particular magazine, journal, or newspaper, start by searching in the library's catalog. From the library's homepage, click on "Journals" in the dropdown menu under "Discovery" and type the publication's title into the search box (yes, this will look up magazine and newspaper titles even though it says "Journals")

Look for results that say "Online access."

Click on the magazine's title and look for the View Online section. You'll see information like this.

Check the publication dates that are available for each option and choose the one(s) that include the dates you are looking for. In the list below, if you are looking for the most current issue, you'd want to click on either the EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete option or the ProQuest Central - GALILEO option (since the Factiva option doesn't include articles published after 2017). 

(Pssst: Factiva is difficult to use. If you see an EBSCO or a ProQuest option, start with those as those are generally a little easier to use. Additionally, EBSCO and ProQuest databases will allow you to download a PDF of the article. Factiva won't.)

Why Academic Search Complete?

Academic Search Complete includes:

  • Scholarly/peer-reviewed articles
  • Magazine (and sometimes newspaper) articles
  • Trade-publication articles

If you are having trouble finding scholarly/peer-reviewed articles on a particular topic -- which may be the case for a very current topic -- Academic Search Complete can also point you towards magazine articles and in some cases newspaper articles* that may provide useful coverage. Depending on your topic, trade publications might also be useful (think, articles in Publishers' Weekly about a controversial book).

*You will get more comprehensive newspaper article results if you search in newspaper databases. See the "Searching for Newspaper Articles" tab!

Search Hints

   to search names as a phrase | ex: "walter cronkite"


   as a wild card | ex: wom*n

AND between words to NARROW results | ex: cat AND dog

OR between words to EXPAND results | ex: cat OR kitten

Using "Advanced Search" in Databases

Most databases have an Advanced Search option, which will let you search using multiple terms at once. For example:

An asterisk (*) is a truncation symbol that will bring up results using all the letters leading up to (or following) the * -- so, influencer* will bring up both "influencer" and "influencers." (You could also use influence* which would bring up "influence" and "influences" as well as "influencer" and "influencers".

Using covid-19 OR coronavirus helps you cover your bases -- the "OR" there mean that you're asking for articles that use any of the terms linked by the "ors" (depending on the intent, an article might exclusively use one term or the other term -- linking the search terms with "OR" means you'll get articles that use either term).

* * * * * 

A database's Advanced Search option will also let you limit your search in a number of ways, including:

  • Limit by year of publication (helpful if you need the most current scholarship/literature)
  • Limit to scholarly/peer-reviewed articles (this is often just a box you can check)
  • Limit by language (if you read a particular language or languages, you can select those; you can also limit your search to just items in English)

For example, here are some options that often appear in Advanced Search:

Different subject databases may have other options as well, but most of our databases have these as Advanced Search options.

* * * * *

One box that you SHOULD NOT CHECK is the "Full Text" box. Sounds backwards, I know, but here's why:

Many databases will give you only the citation for a particular article and not the full text.

But! We have lots of databases, and the article that you need may be in a different database.

If you find an article that you want, and it looks like we don't have full text, click the blue "Find It @ GSU" button. That button will point you to the article if it's held in another database, or will help you set up an Interlibrary Loan for the article. (Yes, you can place requests for articles via Interlibrary Loan during the coronavirus crisis -- article requests are handled electronically).

If you check the "Full Text" box in a database, you're actually saying that you only want articles which that particular database has available in "full text." You're shutting off that "Find It @ GSU" option.

Interdisciplinary Scholarly Article Databases available @ GSU

These article databases cover a wide range of disciplines. We also have many article databases that are focused on specific disciplinary areas.

Use the Databases by Subject dropdown on the library's homepage to find databases for particular disciplines/subjects!

Examples of potentially relevant subject areas (among others!):

  • African-American Studies
  • Economics
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Public Health
  • Public Management and Policy
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Looking for Philosophy Articles?

Nifty Trick for Searching

You can search in multiple EBSCO* databases at the same time (hint: Academic Search Complete and Philosopher's Index are both EBSCO databases)!

From an EBSCO database, click on "Choose Databases":

Find the other database that you want to search in and check the box next to it:

Then scroll all the way to the bottom of the list (look at all those databases that might also be of use!) and click "OK".

You should see a link that says "Show All" next to the name of the original database. Clicking on that will tell you which databaseS you are now searching in.