A good way to begin is by searching general databases that contain journals from many different fields. The most widely database used at Grace Library is Academic Search Complete, which is available through the Find Articles link on the library's home page. This resource contains professional journals from many different academic disciplines, as well as a wide range of popular magazines.
After typing in your search terms, but before you run your search in the database, be sure to limit your search results to peer reviewed ("professional") journals only. Limiting your search to peer reviewed journals will not only give you research articles in your search results, but it will exclude articles from magazines, so you will have fewer and more relevant citations to sift through.
After you have looked for articles in the database listed above, you can also find articles and citations for journals in one of the many subject specific databases listed on the Find Articles page. These databases cover only the professional journals of a given academic discipline.
The above journal database sometimes supplies only citations and abstracts and not the full text of an article. In those cases, you should use the Journal Finder on the library homepage and search for the journal title to see if Grace Library owns it. If you are still unable to find it, you can request the article from another library using interlibrary loan (ILL).
Even after doing a successful search in an appropriate database you will still have to determine which of the articles are research articles and which are not. Remember, all research articles are journal articles, but not all journal articles are research articles. So how can you tell which journal articles are research articles?
The parts of a research article are:
Sometimes different synonyms are used to head the various sections, but regardless of how the sections are headed, every research article will contain the sections listed above.
Sternberg, R.J. (1993). The psychologist's companion: A guide to scientific writing for students and researchers (3rd ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.