INTL 390 Foundations of Global Studies: Finding Articles

A guide for INTL 390 Foundations of Global Studies

Getting Started

Once you have a specific topic, it is time to move on to articles. The PSU Library has thousands of individual journal subscriptions that contain millions of academic articles. The best way search this massive collection is through our collection of Databases. There are two types of Database you'll encounter during this project. The first is the subject-specific database, which are designed for researchers in a specific field. The second is are general databases that search across multiple disciplines at once. Each has strengths and weakness. A subject database - about film studies, for example - will include excellent articles about films, but are limited to that topic alone. General databases, like the EBSCO suite of databases, are excellent for interdisciplinary topics, but their broad scope makes it harder to limit search results to a manageable number. For a detailed guide on using AND/OR/NOT commands in our databases, see the Search Techniques guide.


Depending on your topic, you might also want to look at other subject databases, including:

Search Mechanics (Examples)

Begin by typing topic key words.

You may end up with may results, but skim the first page or two before moving on.

To limit search results, select the Advanced search


This allows you to search the Abstract. For broad topics, this is an easy way to narrow results. If the topic is too specific, you may get no results.

If this happens, that's fine. Broaden the search a bit and try again.


EBSCO Databases

For interdisciplinary projects, we can use the EBSCO Suite of databases. Unlike JSTOR, it includes indexing that allows us to conduct extremely targeted research.

Begin by typing in the key themes of your project.

You may have many results. Narrow the search using the bar on the left. Be sure to also pay attention to the suggested subject terms under relevant articles.

Make sure your articles are peer reviewed. You might want to exclude older articles too. We see Spain and Dance are subject terms. Instead of keyword searching, let's search these as subjects.

Again, narrow the publication date to more recent materials. We can also cut down results by narrowing the language on the left bar.

For new results, add new keywords in the second box.  Use "or" if you want to look for multiple topics at once.


Another example:

Sometimes you will find interesting articles on the first try.  Pay attention to the "subjects" under each article. These will help you find more articles we might have missed in previous searches.

Instead of "politeness," the database uses "courtesy." Let's substitute those terms.


The database may also suggested other search phrases as well. These may provide additional results.