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Sociology: SOC 111 Social Problems (Pearson)

How do I find articles in a database (including SocINDEX)?

This video tutorial walks you through the kinds of databases available to you via Elihu Burritt Library and how to determine which database or databases will best suit your specific research needs. This video tutorial focuses on the kinds of databases most likely used for research in history; however, the information presented here on how to evaluate databases for your own needs can be applied to any discipline.

Most of our databases come from one of two vendors: EBSCO or ProQuest. See the other tabs in this box for video tutorials on how to find articles in an EBSCO database or in a ProQuest database.

How do I find articles in CentralSearch?

The following written instructions cover how to use CentralSearch to retrieve peer-reviewed articles. You should watch the brief video tutorial in the next tab for more detailed information on how to narrow the results in your results list to find different types of materials. You can also use some of the search strategies and tips found on the Boolean Search page of this research guide. Remember to login to your library account before attempting to access the articles, journals, or databases. This is especially important if you are off-campus.


Find articles in CentralSearch
  1. You can access the basic functions of CentralSearch from the library homepage. To use CentralSearch to find articles, type your keywords or search terms in the search box, select the Everything at CCSU option, and then click Search.
    Library homepage

  2. Depending on your search string the Everything at CCSU search option is going to bring back thousands of results, which may include books, book chapters, journals, articles, audiovisual resources, reviews, dissertations, images, and so on.
    Search results for "ancient greek customs" in CentralSearch

  3. To use CentralSearch to find peer-reviewed articles, you will have to use the Refine my results options available to you on the left-hand side column. Specifically, you should select Peer-reviewed Journals under the heading Show Only and Articles under the heading Resource Type.
    Screenshot of the Refine my results options with "peer-reviewed journals" and "articles" circled

How do I know if an article will be useful?

Everyone tells you that doing research well takes a good chunk of time, but I promise you that doing research poorly takes even longer! Want to make good use of your research time? Don't read every article with a title that sounds like it might be relevant to you.

(You read that correctly. I said don't.)

Instead, evaluate every step of the way to see if what you're looking at is something you might use. Let's say you've done a search in Academic Search Premier...


  1. Look at the subjects associated with the article. These are used to describe the article, like tags. Do these sound relevant to your topic?
  2. Look at the resource type icon. This tells you what kind of source you would be looking at (a newspaper article, magazine article, report, a government document, a web resource, or a journal article). Is it the type you want?

screenshot of academic search premier with subjects and resource icon type circled

And then, after you click...


  1. Look at the abstract! You can read the short abstract to get a sense of what the article says. This is a full overview -- no cliff-hangers, no secrets. This will help you decide whether you might want to use it for your research.

screenshot of academic search premier with article abstract circled

How do I access full-text articles?

When you have found an article you wish to use for your research, you will need the full-text version of the article. There are three ways by which you can access a full-text article. Watch "Video Tutorial: How do I access full-text articles?" for instructions on how to access the full-text article using one of these three methods, or see the brief instructions below.


PDF or HTML Full-Text Button

Sometimes the PDF (or HTML) full-text article is available directly in the database where you are conducting your research. Clicking the PDF full-text button will open the full text article in a new window or tab allowing you to read the article online, download and save the article, and/or print the article.

If you are conducting research in an EBSCO database, the PDF full-text button will be on the left-hand side of the screen when you are viewing the bibliographic record:

 Bibliographic record in an EBSCO database with PDF and HTML full text buttons circled


When you are conducting research in a ProQuest database, the PDF full-text button will be in the upper right-hand corner when you are looking at the bibliographic record.

Bibliographic record in a ProQuest database with PDF full-text button circled


Find it @CCSU Button

Not all full-text articles are available directly in the database where you are conducting your research. If there isn't a PDF Full-Text button or an HTML Full-Text button, then there will be a Find it @CCSU button. Clicking this button will signal the system to search for the intended article in all the other databases and journals (electronic and physical) held by the library.

Bibliographic record in an EBSCO database with the Find it @CCSU button circled


If the full-text article is available outside of the database you are researching in, clicking the Find it @CCSU button will either take you directly to the article on the publisher's website or to a catalog record with links you can use to access the article elsewhere.

Catalog record with links for full-text article circled


Even if there are no links to the full-text article in the View It section of the catalog record, scroll down to the Get It section of the catalog record to see if there are any physical journal holdings. If the library does have copies of the physical journal, use the information in this catalog record and the information in the bibliographic record for the article to determine if the library has the volume and issue for which you are searching.

Catalog record for an article with the physical journal holdings circled


Interlibrary Loan

If the full-text article is not available as a PDF or HTML file directly in the database you are researching in, the Find it @CCSU button takes you to a catalog record that shows no links to the article in other databases and no physical journal holdings, and if you still want to find the full-text article, then you will have to request the article through interlibrary loan. For more information on how to request articles through interlibrary loan, watch "Video Tutorial: How do I request articles with interlibrary loan?" or see the LibGuide on Interlibrary Loan.

How do I request items from another library?

Using the scholarly conversation to find additional articles

If you already have one relevant scholarly article...

You can trace the conversation back in time to find additional, previously published research:

If you've already found one useful article, look at the list of references provided at the end. All scholarly, peer-reviewed articles are required to have a reference list containing all the sources cited within the article. If you find a source listed with a title that sounds like it might be useful to your research, try typing the title of that article into CentralSearch. You may or may not be able to find the full-text of that article in our databases, but you might find an abstract. Remember that reading the abstract of an article is a good strategy to quickly determine whether or not the article will actually meet your research needs.

You can follow the conversation forward in time to find more recent research that cites your article:

If your original article is more than a year old, there may be more recent research available that builds off of that article. There are library database tools that allow you to find these articles, making it very easy for researchers to follow the scholarly conversation. While researching in any of our EBSCOhost databases (like Academic Search Premier, as one example), look for a PlumX Metrics icon below the title of the article:

PlumX Metric Icon


PlumX Metrics is an analytical tool that provides researchers with information on what kinds of usage their published works are getting. PlumX Metrics measures and reports on usage in five categories, which you can read about on the PlumX Metrics website. Clicking on the PlumX Metrics icon will redirect you to a page that gives a breakdown of the article usage in those five categories, but the one you should pay particular attention to is Citations.

PlumX Metrics dashboard


The citations category provides information on how many times this particular article was cited in other articles. Clicking the link available in this section (in this case, the Scopus link) will take you to a database where you can see a list of the articles that have cited the original article you are looking at as well as their abstracts.

List of articles in Scopus



PlumX Metrics allows you to find other articles that have cited the article that you are examining. Some databases make it easier to see what articles are cited within your article, providing a list of titles that may include links to the full-text article or a Find it a@CCSU button. Here is an example from a ProQuest database:

List of references as seen in a ProQuest database 


Use these tools to easily find additional research on your topic!

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