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Introduction to Library Research: Finding Articles

Google vs. Articles Databases

Google your topic and you are likely to retrieve millions of hits. Unfortunately, you don't have time to go through them and more than likely they are not academic in nature. How can you limit your search right away to scholarly sources? Choose a database! The databases available on the library's website allow you to limit your search to academic sources (also called "peer-reviewed"), so right away, you can eliminate sources you can't use.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar, however, will have scholarly sources; be aware that they may not be peer-reviewed. You can also use it if you already have a citation, and want to know if Lakehead has the full-text/access to the article/book.

Which Database do I use?

Why are there so many databases, and which one do you choose? Well, here's a tip: the library has sorted the databases into subject areas AND there are also all-in-one or multidisciplinary ones. Click on your subject and you will see a list of key databases and other helpful information. If you choose the Search It All, you will be searching several databases covering many subject areas all at once. Click on the links below for a list of databases sorted by subject or the databases that cover many subjects all at once.

Using books to fnd articles...or articles to find books...

How can books help you find articles? Well, starting with your textbook, take a look at the "further references", "selected readings" or the bibliography at the end of the chapter or at the end of the book. Often, there are references to articles or other books about the same subject. Write these down or photocopy all the information (author, name of book or journal, year, volume, issue, page numbers). This way, you already have some sources to look up.

The same strategy can work for articles:  check out the references in those first few articles you find. These may lead to books for your paper.


Visit us at a Services Desk at your library for quick questions.

Use Ask a Librarian to get online help.

Book a Research Consultation with your subject specialist.

Scan our list of online guides/tutorials for self-paced learning.

Contact us at:

Paterson: or 807-343-8225

Education library: or 807-343-8718

Orillia (University Avenue): 705-330-4008, x2250 or

Orillia (Heritage Place): 705-330-4008, x2252 or