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Finding Articles

  • Overview and Objectives
  • Peer Review Process
  • EBSCOhost Databases
  • Searching Multiple EBSCOhost Databases
  • Quiz

In this section we'll discuss the following:

  • The peer review process
  • How to search EBSCOhost databases
  • How to use subject headings in EBSCOhost databases

By the end of this section, you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain why a peer reviewed article is more authoritative than other articles
  • Conduct searches in EBSCOhost and narrow them to a manageable number of results
  • Search multiple EBSCOhost databases simultaneously

Find the most scholarly sources

The process of peer review applies to articles published in periodicals. (Remember that periodicals are publications such as magazines, scholarly journals, trade journals, newspapers, etc.) In general only the editorial boards for one type of periodical--the scholarly journal--put their articles through the peer-review process. Here's a good definition of peer-reviewed journals from the Library Glossary at Gibson D. Lewis Library at the University of North Texas:

Peer-reviewed journals are those that require submitted articles to be reviewed and approved by a group of experts in the field prior to publication.  This process helps to ensure that the articles selected for publication represent a high standard of scholarship.

With this definition in mind, it's easy to understand why the peer-review process is crucial for academia. When scholars submit research articles for publication, they submit them to peer-reviewed journals. If the panel of reviewers for one of those journals evaluates their article, and decides to accept it, the article will then be considered among the best scholarly work in that field. That's why researchers of all stripes consider peer-reviewed journal articles to be the most authoritative sources around. (Authors who publish peer-reviewed articles, in addition to gaining prestige in their fields, improve their chances of achieving tenure.)

Before moving on, watch this five-minute video on the peer-review process from North Carolina State Libraries.


Many of the periodical databases the Dulaney-Browne Library subscribes to are EBSCOhost databases. Master one EBSCOhost database and you're close to mastering them all. Master several different article databases, and you'll quickly become a proficient acquirer of articles. One of the best features of EBSCOhost is the ability to narrow results using the subject headings on the right-hand side. (Remember subject headings from the Finding Books module?) Every time you narrow results with a subject heading, you limit the results to periodical articles on that specific topic.

Below is a video on searching EBSCOhost from the library homepage. Answer the following questions on scratch paper as you watch.

  • Of the array of databases EBSCOhost offers, which one does the researcher choose from the dropdown menu?
  • What limiters does the researcher use?
  • Which subject headings does the researcher use to narrow the results?
  • How do the subject headings the researcher chooses relate to the results he has left at the end?

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EBSCOhost continued

Let's try another EBSCOhost search. This time we'll search more than one database at the same time and access a specific record. Answer the following questions on scratch paper as you watch. (The quiz is just around the corner!)

  • How did the researcher add other EBSCOhost databases to the search?
  • How else did the researcher set up the search before clicking Search?
  • Did you notice the Abstract? What purpose does it serve?
  • How do you find out how to cite the articles you find in APA format?

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Before you answer the questions, be sure to fill in your name and class information so it will appear correctly on the submission page. The submission page will appear automatically when you click the submit button at the end of the quiz. Print the page and turn it in to your professor.

First Name: Last Name:

  1. What is a periodical?
    A serial publication like a magazine, journal, or newspaper
    A special newsletter kept exclusively at the library
    A journal devoted to the study of the lunar cycle
    None of theseA periodical is a publication that comes out periodically.Correct

  2. What is a peer-reviewed journal?
    A journal of library resources to share with your friends
    A diary
    A journal with a rigorous publication process that ensures high-quality scholarship
    A journal with a panel of experts who review each article before choosing the best ones for publication
    Both 3 and 4Correct. For peer-reviewed journals, a panel of experts screens every article before publication to ensure quality.Scholars write peer-reviewed journal articles, and each article goes through a rigorous screening process before it is published.

  3. What's the most common type of resource in EBSCOhost?
    Articles from periodicalsCorrectArticles are the main type of material that EBSCOhost provides.

  4. When you click on a subject heading in the left-hand menu in EBSCOhost, how are your results affected?
    Your results are automatically narrowed by 50%.
    Your results are supplemented with new results based on the topic you click on.
    Your results are narrowed randomly based on the number of subject headings in the list.
    Your results are narrowed to results on the topic the subject heading describes.Correct. Subject headings in EBSCOhost are a powerful tool for narrowing and expanding search results.Subject headings narrow your results to articles on the topic they describe.

  5. What is an abstract?
    A summary of an article
    A list of definitions from an article
    A list of authors
    The complete citation of the record and the list of subject headings just below itCorrectRead the abstract to get an idea of what the article is about before you download or print the entire thing.

  6. You can search several databases at once in EBSCOhost.
    False CorrectIncorrect

The following questions will help us evaluate this module and make improvements. Please answer honestly.
  1. Is this your first time completing this module?

  2. What was most/least helpful about this online session?

  3. Do you have a better understanding of plagiarism than you did before this online session?
    No, not at all 1 2 3 4 5 Yes, much better

  4. Overall, how useful was this online session?
    Not Useful 1 2 3 4 5 Extremely Useful

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