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MPA 606: Foundations of PA Research: Finding Articles

Relevant Databases

Searching Tips

You can use the following search tips in the databases to help narrow or broaden your search results.

Tips for Database Searching:

Boolean searching: using the terms andor and not to enhance your searching possibilities.

AND: used to combine two keywords or phrases to narrow your search.

Example: “poverty” AND “academic achievement”

OR: used to broaden your search by allowing you to search for two or more similar words.

Example: “socioeconomic status*” OR “social status”

NOT: used to narrow your search by eliminating a word or words from your search results.

Example: “urban housing” NOT “housing projects”

Phrase searching: placing a term in quotation marks to let the computer know to search for specific terms as one phrase rather than separate words 

Example: “socioeconomic status”

The asterisk (*) can be used to search for several endings of a word at the same time

Example: “urban develop*” will search for the terms “development,” “developing,” etc.

Find Research Articles by Citation


  • Click on the title in the search results to see the options for full-text


  • Click on the option, or one of the options, listed


  • Click on the PDF option, if one is given. Otherwise, open the link for HTML

  • Plug journal title into box then click on search button

  • Click on title to view record of matching result

  • Click on links under View It to open for full text options

  • Browse issues or search within publication to find article


  • Click on PDF icon to view full-text of article (this might look different depending on which database you've accessed it from)


Publishing Cycle


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Brooke Becker
Mervyn H. Sterne Library
917 13th Street South
Birmingham, AL
(205) 934-6364

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