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Journal Article Research (Non-Legal): Don't Have a Specific Journal Title?

This is a brief guide to searching for online articles using resources available at UCLA.

Important Note About Access to Databases

Be sure to read the Access to Databases Guide carefully before beginning your research.

UCLA Library links for Article & Database Searching

Melvyl Library Catalog

Search UCLA Libraries and Beyond

Advanced Search Search with WorldCat

Quick List of Helpful Links

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Using Online Article & Citation Databases

If you don't have a specific journal title in mind to search, you can use an online database of citations or full text articles to begin your research. The UCLA Library system has numerous subscriptions to electronic databases covering virtually every discipline and subject matter area.  These databases (sometimes referred to as “aggregators”) collect and index thousands of journals (scholarly and non-scholarly), magazines and conference/symposium materials that can be viewed and downloaded in full-text.

There are several ways to begin your database searching:

  1. Librarians at UCLA have developed hundreds of online research guides to help students begin their research. Searching these Research Guides for one in your subject area is a particularly good way to begin your research.
  2. Use the UCLA Library "Quick Article Search," which searches multiple databases at once (See box directly below).
  3. Locate specific databases for your research.


While the interfaces and search screens vary depending on the database vendor, the general procedures for searching databases are quite consistent.  Most databases, for example, feature a simple or basic search screen as well as advanced search options, allowing the user to search by keywords, title, author and other parameters, however, giving yourself a quick tutorial on search techniques could save a lot of time and help you conduct a more thorough search. Try the UCLA Library's "Choosing and Using Library Databases" guide.

Quick Article Search

The UCLA Library's Quick Article Search allows you to search across multiple databases at once.  This is a very broad search, without advanced search functions, and databases with full-text searching may be over-represented.  However, it's an excellent place to start for general research.  

The results screen gives you options for sorting and refining your search:

If the article link doesn't bring you to a full-text source, click on  UC elinksto locate a full-text source of the article if availalbe, locate a print version on campus, or request through Interlibrary Loan if not available at UCLA.


Doing Research in a Specific Database

If you already know which database you want to search or are trying to locate databases on your topic, the UCLA Library Search page allows you to: 

  1. Search for a database title if you already have one in mind:
  2. Browse for databases by subject.
  3. Browse an "A to Z" list of databases by title.
  4. Search Ulrichsweb to see where a journal is indexed.