Columbia College has access to several specialized research databases that contain thousands of high-quality articles relevant to your topic that are not available on the Internet. Your instructors will be highly impressed if you use these valuable resources.
Types of articles include:
Keep scrolling for more information on how to access these articles.
Which database you use will depend on your topic. Read the database descriptions to determine if a database may hold relevant information.
Any, or all of these, would be a great start.
When accessing our databases, you will be prompted to log in. Enter your Username and Password.
Username: Your username is your full CC email address, which should be your firstname.lastname@example.org.
Password: Unless you have changed it, your password should be Koala (with a capital "K"), plus the last 4 digits of your SSN.
** Please Note: If you are refused the first time, please log in a second time. (Sometimes it takes the system time to recognize you.)
Having trouble? Click the Contact Us tab on this guide.
If you try to type your entire research question into a library database you're going to run into trouble. Instead, you'll need to identify key concepts, also known as keywords, out of your research question to use as search terms.
Let's use the following research question as an example:
How is dyslexia affect the formation of literacy skills in children?
The key concepts/phrases in this question are: dyslexia, literacy, and children. Those are the keywords that we'll start with.
Now, let's think of some other words that we may want to use in our search. It's important to try multiple keywords to discover which combination is going to yield the best results for your research.
Dyslexia: dyslexic, learning disorder, learning disability
Unlike Google, databases do not always find variations of words. That is why it would be important to try both dyslexia and dyslexic.
Searching for terms like learning disorder or learning disability would give broader results than searching for a specific disorder, like dyslexia. When trying to determine which terms to use as keywords, read a few articles or look at the subjects authors have listed to help you decide what terminology is most commonly used in the literature.
Children: preschool, elementary, juvenile, youth
Here is where you may want to get a little more specific. Are you researching all children or just elementary school aged children? Third graders? Teenagers? Adolescents? Each of these words will return a different set of results. Think about what terms professionals are using; kid isn't a term that is typically used in professional literature, but juvenile is.
Literacy: reading skills, writing skills
Reading skills and writing skills are not direct synonyms for literacy, but they may be useful to broaden your search.
For more help forming keywords, click on the Discovering Keywords tab.
For more help linking keywords together to form a search string, click on the Linking Keywords tab.
Use this graphic organizer to help you clearly focus of the topic, generate a list of synonymous topic terms, and generate a list of key concepts related to the topic (ie. the "Five W's").
Are you getting too many results? Use AND to narrow your search. This will return any results that contain both words or phrases.
Ex. South Carolina AND history
Not getting enough results? Try OR to broaden your search. This will return any results that have either word or phrase.
Ex. Climate Change OR global warming
Do you have a lot of results with non-relevant information? Try using NOT to eliminate certain words from your results.
Ex. Pets NOT cats
An asterisk (*) can be used to search for multiple word endings.
Ex. knit* returns results for knit, knits, knitter, knitters, knitting
A question mark (?) can be used as a wildcard.
Ex. wom?n returns results for woman or women
Quotation marks (" ") can be used to search for an exact phrase.
Ex. "climate change"
The best way to find scholarly journal articles is by searching our online Databases.
Once inside the database:
Feel free to experiment by using helpful search features, such as Date Span or Full-Text only!
Although check-marking the Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed selection box will greatly increase your chances of finding such articles, we also strongly suggest you evaluate the article as well; your professors will appreciate it if you do! Typically, "scholarly journal articles" tend to have the following characteristics:
Need advice? Just call or email a librarian. We're always happy to help!
Reference Desk: 803.786.3703