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Research Guides

FCS 590: Intellectual Foundations in Family and Consumer Sciences: Article Databases

Finding Journal Articles

Use more than one database to make sure you are finding the most perspectives on your research question. Specialized subject databases (listed below) can help you search more precisely in your field.

Family and Consumer Sciences Databases

Below are a sample of databases owned by the University of Idaho library, related to the subjects within Family and Consumer Studies.  

Google Scholar

You can also use Google Scholar to find journal articles. Google Scholar is a free web search engine that indexes the full text or citations of scholarly literature across a variety of formats and disciplines. Google Scholar  includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature.

Before you use Google Scholar, go to Scholar Preferences and scroll down to "Library Links". Type "University of Idaho" in the search box, and select both "University of Idaho-U Idaho 360 Link" and "Open WorldCat-Library Search". Scroll down and save changes. This will allow Google Scholar to cross-check some of our subscriptions and give you full-text access with your UI log-in.

Keyword Searching

You'd like to gather information on a topic. You've created a research question. You've identified the likely information types you need and which search tools to use. Now it's time to search. In order to get a search tool to give you information that serves your specific need, you must feed it the right words: Keywords. A keyword describes an essential characteristic of the document or page you want to find. Stringing several keywords together results in a search string , or query.

Research is an iterative cycle, meaning you may need to repeat your search several times. You will need to revist your strategy each time in order to obtain the information you need. On the first search, you may not know all the right words to use or all the right places to look.

When designing your search string, first create a list of keywords and concepts. Use the following search tips to get the best results:

  • Boolean searching (named after George Boole): use AND, OR, or NOT  to combine words or terms.
  • Truncation symbols: use the asterisk * symbol, give you extra searching options for the endings of words.
  • Phrase searching: use quote marks around the phrase "words together" to keep words together as a phrase.

Citation Searching

Once you have found some relevant or important articles on your topic, one way to expand your search is through citation searching. Citation searching looks for all of the articles or books that have cited your initial paper since it was written. 

There are two main databases you can use for this kind of search:  Web of Science and Google Scholar.  Both of these databases cover somewhat different sources, so it can be helpful to try both.

In Web of Science, be sure you choose the "Cited Reference" search option.

In Google Scholar, click on "Cited By."

Topic Search Alerts

Many databases (including Google Scholar) let you save search alerts. This can be helpful if you are researching a topic and want to know when new research comes out on the topic without having to go search in the database. Once you set up an alert, it is generated automatically through either email or RSS feed. Go to your database of choice, enter your search terms, then look for an option to create an alert on the search results page. You will be walked through the process of setting up an alert. In most databases, you need to create an account to save a search alert.

Saving Your Searches

One way to begin taking notes is to keep track of what you are searching for. Many databases help you do this by allowing you to save searches. Saving searches allows you to watch the development of your search over time and to make sure you are not simply repeating the same (not so great) search over and over. Copy and paste or print out the search page to help think of ways your search could or should change over time. 

Finding Full Text Articles

While some databases include the full text of articles, others only provide citations. Citations may include the Find It link to help you find full text through other sources.

When an article in a database does not include full text, click on the "Find It" link: 

Find It icon

You may be redirected to the article, to the library catalog, or to interlibrary loan.

Below is an example of an article that is available online. Clicking on one of the links after "Full text available at" will take you to the article.

Image from the library catalog of the green "fulltext available" link

Image of the "Full text available at" link

If you have any problems, ask a librarian for help.

Requesting an Article from Interlibrary Loan

  1. Locate the book you would like to request using the library catalog.
  2. If the book is not available, or checked, click on Find it, and then Request.
  3. Enter your user name and password.
  4. Verify book request to make sure all necessary fields are complete, and submit.
  5. A record of the request should appear on your account page.