Tutorial: Finding Articles


One of the most complicated processes in Library research is finding articles on a topic. 

NOTE: If you already know of an existing article, and you have a citation for it (or at least you know which journal it was published in), you don't need to go through as many steps. See our tutorial on "Navigating from a Citation to a Document".

If you DON'T know where the articles have been published, you need to follow a process:

  1. Search an index for citations (descriptions) for articles on your topic.
  2. Navigate from the citation to the article.

Not all articles are available from every library; the library has to subscribe to it. We have systems in place to identify what is available and link you to it. If we don't have an article, you can ask us to order it for you - through Interlibrary Loan.


This tutorial covers the process of finding articles from beginning to end; click on the tabs at the top to move through the stages.

  • Start by reading about journals.
  • Next, understand the role of the index, and how to find the indexes you need.
  • Learn to read and interpret the information provided in the index (citations).
  • Find out how to move from the index to the full text of the articles.

The Role of Omni

Omni is a powerful tool that searches content from multiple databases and brings all the results into one place for you. It offers filters to narrow down your results to those you really want.

Omni searches within database and full text publications, and it will locate a good deal of the scholarly articles you need.

However, Omni doesn't have the same controlled and subject-focused searching you can find with specific indexes.

This tutorial assumes you know how to search Omni, and it takes you beyond the Omni search and into the realm of subject-specific databases that are designed for in-depth research. You can always start your research with Omni and make good use of all its options.  Advanced researchers will want to explore our many rich databases as well.

Further Reading (Optional)