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FYRE Guide to Research at Emory Libraries

First Year Research Experience Library Research Guide

General strategies for finding articles

1. Use a database or Google Scholar.

  • Emory has access to over 1000 databases.
    • Each database searches the contents of different journals.
    • Databases provide citations and/or full text of scholarly journal articles, books, primary sources, and reference materials (which can give you an initial, broad overview of your research topic). 
  • Using the A-Z Databases  page, you can access databases by subject.

    Click the Find Databases by Subject arrow on the left, and select your subject. A list of databases for that subject will display.

  • The Woodruff Health Sciences Library lists:

2. Use the Articles + option in Library Search.

  • Access Articles+ from the header in Library Search or by doing a search on the Articles+ page.
  • Results of a search in Library Search can also be passed to Articles+ by selecting the Articles+ option within the search results.

3. Use the lists of recommended Science Databases and Social Sciences Databases on this research guide. 

Review Articles (a.k.a. Literature Review Articles)

Here's an explanation of review articles from the UT Austin Library:

"Review articles are an attempt by one or more writers to sum up the current state of the research on a particular topic. Ideally, the writer searches for everything relevant to the topic, and then sorts it all out into a coherent view of the “state of the art” as it now stands. Review Articles will teach you about:

  • the main people working in a field
  • recent major advances and discoveries
  • significant gaps in the research
  • current debates
  • ideas of where research might go next

Unlike research articles, review articles are good places to get a basic idea about a topic.

So, how do I find Review Articles?

In most databases and indexes, you can limit your search to include only review articles. Some databases might use the term "literature review," but it's the same thing. Set up your search like usual, then find the limit for review articles, select it, and run your search."

Emory Libraries does have a database devoted to review articles: Annual Reviews Online

Searching Tips

1. Searching backward in time.

First, look for review articles which synthesize the findings of many previous studies. One way to locate a review article is by doing a keyword search in Web of Science and then refining your results by clicking Review under Document Types at the left-hand side of the page (see below example). Once you have found a review article, scan the references or works cited section to find older articles that are relevant to your research project. This method of searching informs you about how research on a specific topic has progressed up until that point in time.

Second, when you find a great research article, make sure to look at the references cited in that article.



2. Searching forward in time. Another useful way to locate relevant articles is to conduct a forward search. For example in Web of Science, locate an article that is important to your research project. Click on the number corresponding to Times Cited (see below example) to see newer articles that have cited this article. This method of searching informs you about how a particular article has influenced subsequent research on that topic. 

Accessing Emory Digital Resources

LibKey Nomad is a free plugin for Chrome and Firefox that helps you access scholarly journal articles. Once it knows you're affiliated with Emory, LibKey Nomad checks the web page of the article you're viewing to see if it's available at Emory. More information here.