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EDU502: Journal Articles

Library resources and services for graduate education majors

Research Assignment

To be successful in this course, you need to be able to locate numerous scholarly journal articles, read them, and use the content for your own research. Please refer to your syllabus for specific information (limitations, due dates, etc.) regarding your assignment.

"Scholarly Articles": Sometimes professors will require you to use only "scholarly" or "peer-reviewed" sources in your assignments. Click on the link below to download a chart that explains what this means. (Hint: If you can buy it at Weis or CVS, it is NOT a scholarly source.)

Locating the Journal Articles

Locating the Articles: There are two main ways that you can find online journal articles related to your topic for your assignments.

  • General keyword searching: In this method, you search a variety of journals and even databases (such as Education Research Complete) at the same time using keywords. This is also the type of searching you do on the Library's homepage in the Omnisearch box.
  • Searching a particular journal: In this method, you can look up a particular journal in the online catalog and search just that source. This is particularly helpful when your professor gives you the citation for an article to find or if you get the names of journals that work well for an assignment. Searching by journal title allows you to browse through the journal by going into each issue/volume to see the articles available, or to search within that journal title in a database.
    • If you know the title of a journal, such as Reading Research Quarterly or Educational Leadership, you can find the journal in the Library's online catalog by clicking on the  “Journal Title" tab on the Library's website. If we have that title either in print or through an online database, you will get a list of where to find the journal. Clicking on the link to get to a journal we have electronically through a database will take you directly into that database and to that journal title to further complete your search.
    • HINT: Many teacher associations, such as NCSS for social studies teachers or the ILA (International Literacy Association), have their journals/publications described on their websites. Check out these sites to find a good journal title to search.

Searching with Boolean Operators: Remember to use your Boolean terms (AND, OR, and NOT) to create the best search string of keywords. If you need a refresher on Boolean searching, click here or see the link below for a Boolean Search Example.

  • You can add things like "case study" or "action research" as a separate line in your search using "AND" to limit your search to these types of articles.
  • You can also limit your search to specific journals this way if you know the title and know that it is included as a source in your database.

Your Results List

Hints to manage your results lists:

From your list of results, you might have a variety of formats including only an abstract (if you didn’t limit your search to full-text only), PDF Full Text, or HTML Full Text.

  • PDF’s are images of the actual journal article as if you were looking in the journal itself.
  • HTML means that someone typed or scanned in the information into a computer format - images and charts may have been omitted. 
  • Don’t forget to check for citation information!
  • ALSO: When printing a PDF, use the print icon that appears in the Adobe Reader window rather than “File” and “Print.”

To see the abstract (article summary) in your results list, change the settings in the "page options" dropdown menu at the top of the list.

Always click on "check for full text" when it appears. We might have the article in another database, and clicking will check that option.

If we still don't have it, consider using interlibrary loan. For many articles, you will have the digital article sent to your e-mail within 48 hours or less!