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Shimberg Health Sciences Library & Florida Blue Health Knowledge Exchange

How to Find Journal Articles

Whether you are writing a paper for a class or developing a manuscript for publication, most research begins with a search for journal articles from trusted, peer-reviewed sources. Follow the steps below to find the articles that best fit your research question using the resources available to you through USF Health LIbraries.

1. Decide on the subject for which you want to locate articles

The more specific the topic is, the more relevant the results you will retrieve. Searching the phrase low back pain, not just pain, narrows the results.

2. Choose a Database appropriate for your subject

3. Search the Database for articles on your subject

Databases are indexes of primarily journals that allow you to search for specific articles based on the article title, article abstract, author(s), date of publication, and more. Once you've run a search using your keywords, review the article abstracts in your search results to determine if the article is appropriate to answer your research question. 

Each database varies so to make your search more effective, look within the database for tips or check out some of the options below for getting additional help through the library.

4. Retrieve the full-text for articles that look promising