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Finding Magazines in Academic Search - Video


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Elizabeth Fox
Briggs Library 019

Finding Magazine Articles


For this assignment you will need to use a library database to find a magazine article. Databases are collections of academic articles, newspaper and magazine articles, book reviews, conference proceedings, and other sources that students and professors use to do research. Many of the items in these databases are not available on the open web - they might show up in a Google search, but when you try to click on them, the website asks you subscribe or pay money to download and read the source. This is why the library subscribes to these databases - they allow you to access these sources for free. 

Step 1: Open the Database

The best place to find magazine articles for this assignment is the database Academic Search Premier. You can find it by clicking on the Databases A-Z tap on the library homepage:

Screenshot of library homepage

Then click on the second title on that list.

Database List with Academic Search highlighted

You can also find it here:

When you click on the database, you will first have to log in with your SDSU credentials. Anytime you access library resources from off-campus you will have to log in. If you have troubles logging in, contact the library for help. 

Step 2: Do a Search

Unlike searching in Google, databases do better with individual words, not phrases. Instead of searching "why are people of color over-represented in prisons," you might search "racial disparities" and "criminal justice system." Think about the key concepts of the question you want to answer and break those down into two or three words. Start with broad concepts. For example, let's search "tattoos."

Search box with "tattoos" entered


When I hit enter, I get a list of results that look like this:


These results have a lot of information even before I click on a title. I can see the source type, the date it was published, how many pages it is, and some of the subjects the source covers. I can also see that there are over 6,000 results. Instead of looking through each one, I can use the filters on the left-hand side of the page under where it says "Refine Results." 

The most useful filters for this project are the date and source types. I can use the slider to ensure that I'm only getting results that were published in the last 10 years, and I'm also going to click the box next to "magazine articles" to get rid of anything that wasn't published in a magazine. 

Result filters

Step 3: Opening an Article

Once I find an article I want to read, I click on the title. When I do that, I get to a page that has more information about the article. It isn't the full text, but it does have a summary, as well as options on the right-hand side of the page to print, email, and save the source. 

webpage with abstract of magazine article

To access the full text, click on the PDF Full Text icon in the upper-left corner of the page. This will show you the article as it looked when it was physically printed in the magazine, complete with pictures and other graphics printed in the article. 

Magazine article PDF viewer

Just like abstract page, you can save, print, or email the article from here. 

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