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A common question we get asked is how to find journal articles (aka scholarly journals aka research articles, etc.). Often a student’s first instinct is to go to Google or sometimes Google Scholar. However, those open web resources often direct you to a site where you have to pay for the article. You’re already paying for article access through the library so be sure to take full advantage.

Library Homepage With Labels

Specific Journal Title

If you have a particular journal or article you’re looking for, use our journal search. It will tell you if we carry that journal in any database or in print.

Paper or Print Journals

There are some titles that we still get in print. These titles aren’t available online, are much more expensive online, or aren’t indexed. Find these titles in the library’s Magazine/Journal section.

Before We Begin, Log In

If you are NOT on campus, in order to access any library database you must be logged into the Kirkwood proxy with your k-number and password. If you search for an article using all the ways below at some point you will be asked to log in. You will only be required to log in once per session no matter how many different databases you use during that session.

Using the Catalog

The most obvious way to search for articles is through the catalog. Our catalog is both a union catalog (it allows you to search multiple libraries) and a discovery product (it searches all our available materials including article databases besides our books). That means you can use the main search box on the homepage and it will bring up many articles we have access to.

Click on the tab for articles above the search box to narrow the search to articles. Click on the button under the article you want to look at. The button says Access Online.
If you have questions contact reference in person or chat or call in.

The good part of this type of search is it goes across multiple databases. It’s excellent for browsing, helping you come up with ideas to narrow down a topic, or to let you know there isn’t a lot available on a topic. It also provides a way to find articles that we don’t own, but can borrow for you from other libraries.

The bad part is that it brings up some articles we don’t own which sometimes look like we do own them, and misses some articles we do have access to. If you’re having trouble finding articles on your topic go directly into a database or ask us for what database to try.


EBSCOhost, and especially the Academic Search Elite, is our main database. If you go into EBSCO directly from the link on the library homepage, the search will default to Academic Search Elite.

The first page that comes up will also give you the option to log into the other subdatabases of EBSCO. These might be useful if you were looking for something more specific like a medical or business topic for example. Otherwise just leave it on the default and hit continue.

We have set the “Refine Results” tools to only show the full text articles. There are several controls there you may also want to set to help you with your search including scholarly articles only, limited years of publication, and subjects instead of keywords.

All Other Databases

A second link on our homepage is to ALL KIRKWOOD DATABASES. This link will bring up a list of every database the college subscribes to, including those not searched automatically in the catalog. Note that while there is an EBSCO link that will take you into the same page as the direct link on the homepage, each EBSCO subdatabase is listed by title on this page.

Click on the database you want and follow their directions.

Can’t Find What You Want?

If you’re having trouble finding an article or a specific topic, please contact the reference desk. Some topics just aren’t the type of thing you see journal articles written about and some articles are not easily available. But we’re always willing to dig and see what we can find.

Check out our report on our latest faculty survey and how we’ve responded to the feedback.

Do you know all these things that might help you or your students around campus? Is there anything else we should add?

Links to Some of The Books Recently Added to the Collection Since the Last Do You Know:

Consumer Experience

French Cinema

Interviews, Resumes, and Job Hunting

Odds and Ends Part 27

Odds and Ends Part 28

Personal Finance

Picture Books on Emotional Subjects

Prohibition and Bootlegging 1920s Style

Robert Sedlacek Family Donations


Our Special Display This Month

During August and September we have a special display called “Start Off On the Right Foot This Semester!” It features books that offer tips, tricks, and general information about how to succeed in college.


It’s Banned Books Week from September 26-October 1st. Our display will be up through October 7th. This year there was a book pulled from store shelves. What do you think?

Research Tips

What do you mean I can’t use internet sources on this assignment?

Tech Tips

How to restore the menu toolbar in Mozilla

Google Tips and Tricks

Our Database of the Month

Films on Demand

New Version of New York Times Available

Want to schedule time in the library or for us to come into your class?

Click Here

What if the library doesn’t have a book you want?

Click Here

And remember you contact us at the library any time by phone, e-mail, chat, or stop on by! We’re always glad to see you! Look for the next issue of our newsletter.