Skip to Main Content
PolyU Library

Find Journal Articles

A guide to introduce how to find journal articles more effectively

Contact Your Faculty Librarian

Faculty Librarians are designated librarians for your faculty, who can offer specialized help on your course assignment and research project. Make an appointment with your Faculty Librarian for in-depth assistance!

Types of Periodicals

Library provides access to a rich collection of periodicals in both print and e-formats. The collection includes:

  • Popular Magazines: covered short articles written by journalists, staff or freelance writers on current events, news, opinions and topics of general interests.
  • Professional or Trade Journals: usually written by staff writers or specialists of a particular business, industry or organization to update interested parties on the latest industry trends, new products or techniques, and organizational news.
  • Scholarly Journals: mostly authored by professors, researchers and students that focus on frontier research projects, theories, and methodologies. Most scholarly publications are peer-reviewed which means that their articles have gone through a critique and approval processes by the subject experts before publication. To know whether a journal is peer-reviewed, refer to the tips at Check whether the journal is peer-reviewed.

Where to Find Journal Articles

There can be more than one way to get the information we need. To find journal articles we can go for both Google Scholar and library databases. However, search results can vary depending on the coverage of sources and their searching mechanism.

Understanding the difference among these platforms can help you choose where to go when you have a specific research need. 


  • OneSearch - Library's search engine; covers over 90% of the library collections at item level across disciplines and material types. 
  • Google Scholar - A scholarly version of Google; has the largest pool of scholarly articles. However, it is the least trusted platform because many retrieved articles are not peer-reviewed works.
  • Article Database - Allows you to search within a specific field (e.g. title, keywords), and refine search results using filters - All to help you find what you need quickly and effectively. 
  • Request an article through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services - for articles that are not available in our collection.

You can search for scholarly articles in OneSearch as well. You may search by keywords or title of the article. 

Watch this video to learn how to find and access articles in OneSearch:

You may also refer to the steps below:

  1. Visit Library homepage. Type in your keywords or title of the article and hit the search button. (You may also switch to "Articles" tab which will limit your search to articles only)
  2. Limit results to "Articles" under Resource Type on the right panel of the page. You may further refine results to "Peer-reviewed journals", or "Creation date" (Publication date).
  3. Click on the article title to see more information about the article.
  4. Click "Download PDF" to directly download the full text PDF, or visit other options under "View It Online" to read the article online. 

To search articles in Google Scholar, we suggest that you access Google Scholar via the Library homepage, especially when you are out of campus. By doing this you will be able to directly access the full text of the articles (we subscribed to) through PolyU eLinks.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Visit Library homepage, switch to "Articles" and then click on Google Scholar@PolyU. Sign in with your NetID and NetPassword if you are out of campus.
  2. Conduct a search in Google Scholar. The article within our collection will be provided with the "PolyU eLinks" option. Click to get the full text PDF for free.

Google Scholar setting - link with PolyU Library

You may also change the setting in your Google Scholar to link it up with Library subscribed databases. This is identical to clicking on Google Scholar@PolyU via Library homepage.

Searching within a database helps you narrow your search as the coverage of the database can be very selective. Some databases focus on one specific area, which can help you filter out the contents that are not relevant to the subject; some may cover peer-reviewed journals only, to ensure the articles covered are of certain quality. Almost all databases will provide an Advanced Search option, which allows you to search in a more precise way, e.g. search within article title, journal title, or subject terms (that are tagged to each article). This helps you find the most relevant results quickly and effectively. Browse list of databases below:

Note that login with NetID is required to access the following databases off campus.

Follow the steps below to find an article in one specific database:

  1. Visit Library homepage, switch to "Databases" and then search the database by name, or browse databases by subject.
  2. Search for the name of the database, or browse from A-Z.
  3. Click on Online Access to access the database.
  4. You may now start your search by typing in your keywords. You may also search in a specific field, e.g. search by article title, keywords, journal title (source title, publication title), etc. The fields offered vary depending on the databases.
  5. Most databases allow to refine search results by Year, Author, Subject Area, Document Type, etc. or sort results by Relevance, Date of publication, Citation counts, etc. These all help you quickly locate the articles you desire. 

  6. To find the full-text PDF, click on PolyU eLinks. This will link you to the options where full-text is available. 

Search in a citation database to find more related journal articles

Web of Science and Scopus are two large multidisciplinary citation databases. They do not provide full-text articles, but they are very helpful for exploring related articles by looking at citing articles (who cited the article) and references (who have been cited by the article). If you do not have an idea of which databases or journals to go for, you may start with these two.

Sometimes you may not be able to get the full-text of a journal article because the library does not have the subscription of the journal. In this case, you can request a copy of the article via our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. 

Watch this short tutorial to learn how ILL works:

ILL Video

You may also follow the steps below to place a request from OneSearch:

  1. When you see no results found after a search in OneSearch, first try to check v Expand Results beyond PolyU Library. This may help you get a record of the article you are looking for.
  2. Click on the article record, and sign in with your NetID and NetPassword. Then click on "InterLibrary Loan".
  3. Click on Logon to ILLiad. The details of this article have been pre-filled automatically. Click Submit Request to place the request. Normally you will receive an email notification to download the copy within a couple of days. 



Alternatively, you may also directly submit the request form from this page.