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SOMi 220: Core Topics in Biomedical Sciences: Details on Finding Articles


Whether you're looking for newspaper articles or scholarly/peer-reviewed journal articles, the UCSD Libraries have hundreds of article databases to select from.

Use this page to learn more about:


Don't forget to check the right-hand sidebar for tutorials:

  • UC Libraries Tutorial on Finding Articles
  • Tutorial & Tips on Preventing Plagiarism

How Can I Find Articles on My Topic?

Databases are online tools that help you search for articles on a particular topic.  Article databases are organized by broad subject area (e.g. biology, art, political science, etc.), and some are interdisciplinary databases or ones that search across multiple disciplines.  The database you use depends on the topic or subject you have chosen and the type of information you need to access.  For example: do you need newspaper articles?  do you need scholarly articles?  do you need governmental information? or do you need business-related articles?  


Starting with an interdisciplinary database:

Not sure where to start?  Maybe your topic spans a couple of disciplines (e.g., Bioengineering)?  Some suggested databases to start with are:

Academic Search Complete  Is a multidisciplinary database that indexes and abstracts articles in more than 10,900 journals and other publications in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Portuguese; full-text is available for over 5300 journals.

Web of Knowledge  Is 1900-present. Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Science Citation Index. Major database indexes 10,000+ journals in the sciences, social sciences, arts, & humanities, as well as conference proceedings.


How to pick a database:   

We have hundreds of databases -- organized by broad subject areas.  On our library home pages - look for the either Quick Links or the Databases A-Z list and use our Find Articles by Subjects list.  

    How to search a database:

    Databases may look different but usually have similar search features.  Start by doing a keyword search. Then you can limit your search by date or type of publication.  Databases include information from a variety of sources-- books, journals, newspapers, disserations, conference proceedings, etc.  You can limit your search to articles or scholarly/peer-reviewed articles depending on what you need.

    How Can I Find a Specific Article?

    Sometimes you know exactly what article you want and you're just trying to figure out if you can get a copy at the library.  If you have the citation information (title, author, journal title, volume number, etc.), there are 2 ways you can find out.

    Harnad, S. "Why and how we are Not Zombies." Journal of Consciousness Studies 1.2 (1994): 164-7. 

    1.  Catalog Search

    • Go to the catalog
    • Do at Title/Journal Title search for the name of the journal
    • If you get too many results limit it to Journals/Serials
    • E-journals are found in the same way.  If a journal is available online,  links are provided to the full-text.
    • If the article isn't available online, check to see if we have the year you need in print. Then note the Location & Call Number.


    2.  Citation Linker -- using UC-eLinks

    • Go the Citation Linker form
    • Select the type of item you seek -- book, book chapter, journal article, etc. 
    • Fill in as much information as you have -- the example below is an article with the article title, name of the journal, & the volume number
    • Click Continue   

    Citation Linker1

    • The UC-eLinks screen (see below) will appear with your options for electronic access or print aceess th rough Roger (see instructions above) 
    • If we don't have the article you need, use the Request link and request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.  Articles are usually sent by email in 4-7 business days.


    How can I search for an e-journal?

    This list provides access to online journals subscribed to by the UCSD Libraries-- Find e-Journals

    It does not search for articles! It only searches for journals, and then you can search for articles within that one journal.  If you would like to search for articles in more than one journal at the same time, search one of the article databases.

    To find complete records including print journals owned by the Library, please search titles in the Catalog.

    How can I get to the full text of an article when I search a database?

    How to find the full-text of the article:

    Some databases include the full text of the article in the database.  Look for icons or links that say:

    • HTML  (good version for reading on a computer screen)
    • PDF  (good version for printing or saving to a portable drive)
    • Full Text  (no specific format listed, but full text nonetheless)

    If the article isn't available full-text within the database you found it, click on the orange UC-eLinks button  uc elinks to checkfor other full text as well as print options.  UC-eLinks checks to see if the article is available through UC San Diego Libraries's subscriptions - whether it is online or in print. 

    UC-eLinks makes it easy to:

    1. Check for online access
    2. Check the catalog (Roger) for the print version
    3. Use Request to have us get a copy from another library (known as interlibrary loan)
    4. Format the citation information in one of 5 sytles to easily paste into your bibliography - use Copy & Paste citation

    uc elinks menu



    Can I search for articles from home (off-campus access)?

    Can I search for articles at home?

    Yes! The Libraries online resources are restricted so that only current UCSD faculty, staff, and students can view them from off-campus. In order to get access to these resources from an off-campus computer, you need to connect your computer to the UCSD network.

    There are two ways to do this:

    1. Proxy server 

    2. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    For more information or help with off-campus access, contact the ACMS Help Desk.

    What if the journal (or article) I need isn't here - can Interlibrary Loan help?

    Interlibrary loan (ILL) is the service libraries provide when they do not own the item you want.  We will work with our partner libraries and borrow a book, video, or get a scan of a journal article at your request. 

    • If working in a database, look for the Request link in UC-eLinks (see the box, How to get to full text for a picture). 

    • Know the details of a specific citation you need?  If so, use Citation Linker to look for it in UCSD's collection and make your request if we don't have it.  (See details).

    UC Libraries Tutorial: Finding Articles

    Articles - scholarly, academic, peer-reviewed - are often the basics of a research paper.  The libraries have many tools to help you find them.

    All set to research?  Quiz yourself - can you answer these 4 questions?

    Need some tips to get you started finding articles?  Check out the tutorial "How do I find articles?"

    Preventing Plagiarism

    Practicing good research skills means that last minute crush to get the paper finished doesn't have to be so stressful.  Learn some great tips at the UC San Diego Librairies tutorial, Preventing Plagiarism: Keepin' it Real.

    Pick up some great research tips from the brochure, "How to Avoid Plagiarism".