Journal Searching Tips
Since many of your topics are interdisciplinary, besides using the Criminal Justice Guide, make sure you try using other guides found on the "Resource Guides" page, including those for Sociology, Psychology, Education, Communication Studies, Computer and Information Science, Business, or Counseling and Psychological Services. (Other databases and guides may also be applicable.)
Tips on Searching for Journal Articles
Not all databases are full text.
Some provide indexing and an abstract (a short summary of an article), but many do provide the complete text of an article online. A word of caution: don't limit yourself to just those databases with full text. You could be missing some key articles on your topic by doing that.
Use Boolean Operators (AND/OR/NOT) to broaden or narrow your search.
AND - will narrow a search. All search terms must appear in a record
OR - will broaden a search. Either or both terms may appear
NOT - will narrow a search. The term following "not" won't appear in a record.
Other search tips:
- Use quotes " " to keep 2 or more words together as a phrase ("juvenile delinquent")
- Use the asterisk * to find alternate endings to words (teen* would retrieve teen, teens, teenager, teenagers, etc.)
- Put synonyms/similar words in parentheses, and link together with the word 'or.' (teen or youth or adolescent or juvenile)
When you locate a good article, look at the descriptors or subject headings.
That's the special vocabulary used to describe the essence of an article. Build your search vocabulary by keeping track of these terms and writing them down! Use those words listed to locate other articles on the same topic.
You may also want to think of similar or alternate words, phrases or synonyms for your topic.
Scholarly vs. Popular
For this assignment (and probably many others), you may need to find and use scholarly journal articles on your topic. So what does "scholarly" mean? Generally, it means that something has been written by scholars for scholars, the real experts, researchers or practitioners in a field. Scholarly journal articles and books will present the latest research on a topic. Scholarly work may also be referred to as "Peer Reviewed" or "Refereed." Tip: Most databases have a limiter box you can click on to search for "Scholarly," "Peer Reviewed," or "Refereed" journals. Be sure you click on it before searching .
To check if the library owns a journal either online or in print format, click on the Full Text Finder icon within a record.
If Penfield Library doesn't own a journal article or book you need, you may obtain it from another library using the Interlibrary Loan service (Illiad).
You must register with Illiad first (a one-time only registration) before you can use interlibrary loan. Click on the Interlibrary Loan link from the Library's homepage to register on Illiad.
Remember: all of our journal databases and both catalogs can be accessed and searched from off campus by logging in with your SUNY Oswego LakerNet username and password.
Recommended Multidisciplinary Databases
- Academic Search Complete This link opens in a new windowThis interdisciplinary scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study, including: sciences, social sciences, arts & literature, ethnic studies, and many more. Full-text for over 6,100 titles (5,100 peer-reviewed); indexing and abstracting for 10,600 titles; complete historical coverage and citation searching for select titles.
Covers: Varies by journal title (many 1975 - present)
- Google Scholar This link opens in a new windowUse this search engine to find scholarly works, including many online journals. You can set your preferences to link to Penfield's many databases in this way: 1) choose settings from menu in upper left corner; 2) click library links in the left navigation bar and type 'SUNY Oswego' in box; 3) select the link provided; 4) click 'save.'
- HeinOnline Academic This link opens in a new windowHeinOnline Academic includes more than 100 million pages of multidisciplinary content in more than 100 subject areas, including history, political science, criminal justice, religious studies, international relations, women’s studies, pre-law, and many more. With more historical content than any other database, HeinOnline provides access to 300+ years of information on political development and the complete history of the creation of government and legal systems around the world. Among the many databases included, HeinOnline’s journal collection features nearly 2,800 periodicals relating to a variety of subject areas, with all coverage dating from inception to the most currently published issues in most cases.
- National Newspapers Premier This link opens in a new windowCoverage of 27 major newspapers, most in full-text. Sources include multiple year coverage of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian (UK), and other important U.S. papers.
- Omnifile Full-Text Select (H.W. Wilson) This link opens in a new windowA full-text database of almost 2000 periodical publications, including coverage of the sciences, humanities, education & other social sciences, business and information science.
- Opposing Viewpoints In Context (Gale) This link opens in a new windowAccess viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles. Great for current issues research.
- Research Library This link opens in a new windowSearch over 2,700 periodicals for information on a broad range of general reference subjects including arts, business, humanities, social sciences, and the sciences.
- ScienceDirect This link opens in a new windowA collection of journals and other publications covering life sciences, health sciences, physical sciences and engineering as well as social sciences, humanities and business. (use buttons at top of page to go to journals or do a search)
- SocINDEX with Full Text This link opens in a new windowFull text for over 500 journals in sociology and related disciplines, and indexing for over 3000 others. Also includes relevant books and conference papers, many of them full-text, and allows searching of cited references.
Covers: 1895 - present (varies by title)
- Women's Studies International This link opens in a new windowCore topics in women's studies as well as current topics in feminist research. Includes sociology, history, political science, public policy, business, and education. Indexes journals, newspapers, newsletters, books, proceedings, and dissertations.
Recommended Specialized Databases
- ABI/INFORM Global This link opens in a new windowSearch over 2,000 premier worldwide business periodicals for information on advertising, marketing, economics, human resources, finance, taxation, computers, and more. Also includes information on 60,000+ companies and the full text of thousands of dissertations.
Covers: 1971 - 1984 (citations only); 1985 - present (citations & full text)
- ERIC This link opens in a new windowPremier index of Education resources, including abstracts of articles from over 1000 journals and of documents such as teaching guides, research reports, lesson plans, and test and evaluation instruments.
Covers: 1966 - present
- PsycINFO This link opens in a new windowJournal articles (covers more than 1,700 periodicals), chapters, books, dissertations and reports on psychology and related fields.
Covers: 1887 - present
- Communication and Mass Media Complete This link opens in a new windowProvides indexing and abstracting coverage of the major journals in communication, mass media and other related fields. Almost half of the journals are available in full text.
Covers: Varies by journal title
- JSTOR This link opens in a new window
Arts & Sciences I, Arts & Sciences II, Arts & Sciences VII, Language & Literature, and Life Sciences Collections. An archive of important scholarly journal literature and ebooks. In most cases, full text of the journal is available from the first issue to date.