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Abstract: An abstract is a summary of a piece of writing with the purpose of helping readers to quickly understand the key points.

Volume and Issue Number: Many periodicals, including journals and magazines, are numbered by volume and issue. An issue is a single instance of a periodical. Issues are grouped into volumes. Typically, a volume represents one year of issues. 

1. Choose a Database

The first step of searching for articles is figuring out where to search. The Library licenses hundreds of databases, many of them focused on specific subjects.


Research Databases

The research databases that libraries subscribe to are indexes to information about articles, such as:

  • Article title
  • Author
  • Publication title
  • Volume and issue number [definition]
  • Date or Year
  • Abstract [definition]
  • Other details

An article's citation information:

Image of a document highlighting citation information

In addition to this "citation" information, databases will sometimes contain the full text of articles. In full text is not available from one database, it may be available from another. For more information, go to: 4. Find Full Text


An article's full text:

Image of a full text document

Choose the right database

Subject Guides Icon 

The Library's Subject Guides recommend databases that are appropriate for specific subjects. 

For example, someone working on an assignment for a Business class would go to the Business Subject Guide.

Subect Guides, A-Z:

Screenshot of subject guides by subject

Select the appropriate guide, and go to the Articles & Databases tab. 

Image of articles and databases tab in subject guides

Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be a helpful tool, but does not cover all of the content that is available in Durham College's licensed databases. It is generally a good idea to use Google Scholar in combination with other databases. 

Also, be sure to add Durham College as your library in Google Scholar's Settings, under Library Links. You will be able to access more article full text that way. Watch the video on the right for a demonstration. 


NEXT Next button 2. Search: Keywords & Boolean Logic

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