Conducting a Literature Review

Finding Journal Articles

Journals are scholarly publications, published on a regular basis, that keep the academic community abreast of current research in various fields. If you can think of a topic, there is probably a journal somewhere that covers it. Articles are searchable through databases.

Article databases are ideal for searching the journal literature because:

  • They include hundreds of journals, so you search through thousands of articles at once.
  • Some databases are general or interdisciplinary and provide broad coverage of many topics, while others are subject-specific and cover one field in-depth.
  • Many databases link to full- text articles, so you can read entire articles online.
  • Databases vary in content and may include more than just journal articles; conference proceedings, book chapters, theses, or technical reports may also be covered.
  • If a database only includes journal articles, various types of articles might be covered, such as articles from trade journals, magazines, or scholarly peer-reviewed journals.

Multidisciplinary Databases

Multidisciplinary databases cover a wide range of academic subjects ranging from arts, humanities, business, health, science, and social sciences. Multidisciplinary databases may include journal articles, newspapers, magazines, reports, books, and book chapters. 

Subject Specific Databases

The USF Libraries subscribe to over 900 databases and 58,000 ejournals. That's a lot of different places to search!

In order to help you find the best database to use for different assignments, the USF Libraries also provide subject guides. These guides offer an introduction to databases and research tools tailored to specific fields.

Subject guides will help you find the best databases and resources to use for subject specific research. These guides are tailor made for conducting research at USF.

Advanced Searching Skills