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Work Based Learning and Professional Practice: Finding journal articles

Using Google Scholar to find our e-resources

Google Scholar is the academic searching tool provided by Google.  When used on campus, it is already set to link to our e-resources.You will see Full-Text @ Middlesex in the results you get.

To set Google Scholar to do this on your home PC you need to:

  • Go to Google and choose Scholar from More > Even more and then the search products list.
  • Click Scholar Preferences and find Library Links.
  • Choose Middlesex University (not the USA colleges with similar names)

Scholar will now find our e-resources when you search and will display the Full-Text @ Middlesex link.

However, you will not be able to link to these e-resources unless you are also logged into MyUniHub and have clicked on one of the items in the My Study > My Library box, e.g. the Library Subject Guides.  So make sure you do this before you search.  (Doing this automatically logs you in to access the resources.)

Some limitations of Google Scholar:

  • It searches resources world wide, so the vast majority of items will not be free to access. 
  • But this does mean you see lots of other resources!
  • It does not search books, DVDs and other non-electronic items in our library
  • If you asked to pay for something, please don't. Check to see if you can access the item you need using Summon (free) and then ask us about Inter Library Loans as these will be cheaper!
  • It is not updated as often as our library search tools.
  • it does not have a reference generator; Summon does.

So please try Summon, the Middlesex University Library search tool for all our resources. Summon has some advantages over Google:

  • Summon only searches our Library resources, so you will have fewer results to look through.
  • Summon also searches the print books, DVDs, and other non-electronic resources in our Library.
  • You can refine the results to only e-resources we have access to.
  • You can then refine the search to only scholarly materials.
  • Summon can generate Harvard and other references to use in your written work.
  • It updates more frequently than Google.

Help: Searching for journals

To search for specific journal articles, i.e. where you know the details of the article you are looking for, you can use either the:

  • Library Searchsearch for the journal title using the Journal title search. If it is an e-journal you will be able to link straight through to the journal online and then find the article from there. 
  • E-Journals list -  search for the journal by typing the journal title in the search box. You will be able to link straight through to the journal online and then find the article from there.   

To browse for journal articles on a specific topic, you can use either:

  • Library Search - in the search box type in your keywords for your subject. On the left hand side of the screen, refine your search to Items with full text online and Journal Articles.
  • Journals collections (databases). Select which are most relevant to your subject area by using the library subject guides or from the A-Z list of databases. Once inside the database, where possible, use the advanced search option to get more refined search results.

Search tips for using Databases and the Internet

To help you get the best results from our Databases or the Internet, try the following search tips:

  • * or ? allows you to shorten a word, but pick up its variant endings in a search eg. account* will pick up account, accountant and accounting
  • Boolean operators: AND, NOT and OR join or exclude keywords in a database search or a bracketed search (see below) eg. computer games NOT video will find information on computer games but not on video games
  • "phrase"- putting a phrase in speech marks means that it will be searched in exactly the way that it is entered eg. "United States of America" or "performing arts"
  • (bracketed keywords) allows you to perform quite sophisticated levels of searches; this is especially relevant to internet searching eg. +("activity based costing" AND "activity based management") +application
  • When searching the Internet, use a minus sign (-) to exclude a term. The minus sign should appear immediately before the word and should be preceded with a space eg. Jaguar -cars will find information on the animal called a Jaguar, but not Jaguar cars
  • Many search engines on the Internet employ synonyms automatically eg. they will find childcare if you have searched for child care (with a space) Use a plus sign (+) to match the words precisiely as you have typed them
  • In order to find sites that originate from academic sources on the Internet, include +ac or +edu to your search eg. "database management" +ac