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Articles - what are they?

  • An article is a written piece from a publication such as a journal, magazine or newspaper. 
  • Faculty expect edited pieces from a valid publisher; information on the web from companies or individuals and wikipedia are usually unacceptable
  • Faculty may require articles of a particular type, i.e. newspaper, popular magazine, or scholarly journal.
  • Access to articles is provided through licensed databases on the library website. These databases collect articles from many publications.
  • Some of the most useful of these databases for your discipline are listed to the right.  Others are found in our A-Z database list.

Chemistry Databases

Search individual databases. The most relevant databases for this subject are:

How to Search for Articles in Databases

The following helpful tips are from the University of Reading's Research Guide about Planning Your Search:

Step 1: Write our your search as a sentence

This is our example topic written out as a sentence:
The role of women in agricultural development in Africa

Step 2: Identify the important words and concepts

Translate your sentence into keywords. As most databases will search for exactly what you type in, you need to think of all possible synonyms (different words with the same meaning) and variant spellings. If you don't do this you might not find the most relevant articles.

The following example shows how our sentence has been broken down into keywords and grouped by concept. It shows how they relate to one other.

Concept 1               AND

Concept 2               AND

Concept 3

Women Agricultural
Woman Agriculture African
Gender [individual countries?]

Step 3: Think about ways you could limit your search

You might find too many references on your topic, so think about ways you could limit your search. Most databases will allow you to limit your search in these ways:

  • Date - do you only want items published after a certain date?
  • Language - do you only want references in English?
  • Geography - do you want information about a specific place or published in a particular country?
  • Type of publication - do you only want references to journal articles, books, or theses, for example. This might influence your choice of database.


For more help about your specific search, contact a librarian using LiveChat or AskUs 24/7