To look for articles in journals, newspapers, or magazines, you will need to start with a research database. The databases below provide abstracts of articles from thousands of sources, often providing full-text.
Looking for scholarly journal articles? The resources below will help you determine if the articles you find are scholarly.
| PubMed @ CSUSM
The premier database of world biomedical literature on clinical medicine and preclinical research. Medline provides a more user-friendly interface, but less updated content.
|Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It||1966 to current||All|
| CINAHL Complete
CINAHL, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature, provides indexing for articles from 5,400 journals in the fields of nursing and allied health. This database provides full text access to more than 1,300 journals dating back to 1937.
|Links to full-text via Get-It||1937 to current||Most|
| Web of Science
Contains citation Idexes for Science, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Book Citations from 2004 to present. Select "Web of Science Core Collection" to conduct cited reference search.
|Links to full-text via Get-It||1975 to current||All|
| SportDiscus with Full Text
This database covers topics in sports sciences, sports medicine, physical fitness, kinesiology, physical therapy, exercise science, rehabilitation, nutrition, coaching, training, health education and more.
|Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It||1970s to present||Most|
| Google Scholar CSUSM
Link to citations and full-text from your CSUSM Library databases and beyond!
|Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It||current to current||All|
Available via EbscoHost: A comprehensive international database of psychology, covering the academic, research, and practice literature in psychology from over 45 countries in more than 30 languages.
|Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It||1887 to current||All|
Quick Search Tips
Tips for the search!
1) Generating keywords
- think of more than one way to discuss your topic and use a variety of terms/synonyms to search
- ("academic achievement" OR "academic performance") AND (coping OR resilience)
- look up your topic online to find more keywords (wikipedia is a great resource for this!)
2) Boolean Operators
- AND - returns literature that includes both terms
- OR - returns literature that includes either terms
- NOT - excludes literature with the term
- putting an asterisk at the root of a term will return variations of word
- tour* = tour, tours, tourist, tourism, toured
- use parentheses around synonyms for the same concept
- (coping OR resilience) AND stress AND (program* OR treatment)
5) Controlled Vocab
- The "subjects" attached to each result represent the controlled vocab for that database
- USE THESE TERMS!
6) Still not getting good results?
Research Help Videos: PubMed
Searching the PubMed Database
The 3 videos below provide a brief introduction to using the database, PubMed. Always remember to enter the PubMed database through links on the CSUSM Library Website to ensure you will be connected to the full text articles available.
Want to learn more about PubMed? Review this tutorial from the National Library of Medicine.
If you have questions, contact your librarian!
Accessing Pubmed and Getting Full-text Articles
Searching PubMed: MeSH Subject Headings and Filtering Results
Searching PubMed: Finding Literature Reviews and Requesting Articles through Interlibrary Loan
Books often provide a broader treatment of a topic or issue. A book on the issue you are studying can provide background and a base of knowledge. A research project always needs some sort of background or context before discussing the focused issue.
In order to place a request:
- Start your search in OneSearch.
- When you locate an item you want to request, click the "Get it through CSU+" link, which will prompt you to sign in with your CSUSM credentials in order to place the request.
- If the CSU+ link is not visible, that means that a CSU library doesn't hold the item, but you can still request it through ILL by clicking the "Get it through Interlibrary Loan" link.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) enables CSUSM Library to borrow materials from libraries all over the world. ILL can take slightly longer than CSU+ for materials to be received (up to 7-12 days).
I need to find specific materials that I can't always find in OneSearch - no CSU has them. How will I find them and request them?
If you cannot locate materials you need in OneSearch, try WorldCat. WorldCat is a database of library books and materials held at thousands of libraries worldwide. When you find a book you are interested in through WorldCat, use the "GetIt! @ San Marcos" link to check if the item is available at CSUSM, or the "Request through Interlibrary Loan" to send the item information to CSUSM's ILL system to place the request.
Important note: Off-campus, you must use the link to WorldCat from the Library's Research Databases by Title list and login as a CSUSM user when prompted in order to seamlessly place requests from WorldCat through CSUSM ILL. This is because when you are on campus, WorldCat knows you are a CSUSM user; but off-campus, you will need to login in order to be identified as a CSUSM user and see CSUSM's custom ILL links in WorldCat.
You can also directly fill out a request form for any items you need using the Library's ILL request form.
Searching for books by Subject Headings
- Subject headings are words and phrases specifically created to tell you what a book is about.
- They are the controlled vocabulary of the catalog.
One way to search by subject headings is to begin with a keyword search in the library catalog.
- Locate a relevant item and click details to view the record.
- Click one of the links under "Subjects" to view a list of other items that have been assigned the same subject heading.
What's the difference between searching by keyword and searching by subject headings?
- Searching by keyword will return all results that include your search terms anywhere in the item record.
- It is a more broad, less focused search.
- Searching by subject will only return those results that have been tagged with that specific word or phrase as a subject heading.
- It will result in a more focused search.
Finding statistical information for a population of interest
Use the video and the list of reputable statistics resources below for tips on how to find statistics for the community you're researching. If you have any questions, follow up with your librarian!
- American Factfinder
- Census Bureau
- Statistical abstract of the United States. A compilation of social, economic and political statistics about the U.S. Available Online, or in print at the library (Reference call number: HA202 .S73, or Goverment documents call number: C 3.134)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Bureau of Justice Statistics
- San Diego QuickFacts Census Bureau
- San Diego Public Records
- SANDAG: San Diego Association of Governments Demographics and Other Data
- California Quick Facts: U.S. Census
- County Health Rankings and Roadmaps (A Service from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- National Center for Health (CDC)
- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- World Health Organization (WHO) Statistical Information System
- World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Atlas
- The Office of Minority Health
- California Department of Public Health
- California Department of Health Services
- Healthy City (California-specific)
- San Diego Community Health
- San Diego-Health and Human Services Agency
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
- NIMH Statistics
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- World Health Organization Mental Health Atlas
- Child Welfare Information Gateway Includes useful statistics and other child welfare resources.
- Childstats.gov: Forum on Child and Family Statistics
- Administration for Children and Families
- National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect
- Kidsdata (California-specific)
- National Juvenile Court Data
- National Center for Education Statistics
- National Education Association
- School District Demographic System
- Schools and Staffing Survey
- State Education Data Profiles
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics-Education Data
- Aging Integrated Database
- Administration on Aging
- Administration for Community Living
- AARP Research Center
- FBI Crime Statistics
- United States: Uniform Crime Report Statistics by state from 1906-2005.
- Crime and delinquency in California Provides access to data about crimes, arrests, dispositions, adult corrections, criminal justice expenditures and personnel for the State. From the Office of the Attorney General, California Department of Justice.
- San Diego Police Department Crime Statistics
- National Juvenile Court Data
- US Census 2010 briefs
- Briefs are broken into population groups (for example, The Older Population, The Hispanic Population, etc.).
- Latin American Network Information Center
Cultures and Health
Why Do We Write Literature Reviews?
Academic communities refer to what has been written on a topic as the literature on the topic. A literature review is a comprehensive evaluation of the important research that has been done on your topic.
Scholars write literature reviews because it gives them and other scholars the big picture of what is known about a particular topic. This helps scholars figure out what further research needs to be done. Are there holes are in the existing research? Are there new related topics that can be explored based upon what we already know from the existing research?
A literature review is NOT just a summary. Even though summarizing the existing research is an important part of a literature review, even more important is your discussion and analysis of the existing research findings.
In order for your literature review to be useful to other researchers, you must:
- organize the information
- connect the information to the hypothesis or research question you are developing
- compare and contrast the existing research findings
- identify controversies that appear in the literature
- identify themes that appear in the literature
Check out these sites for more help understanding literature reviews:
Research Tips for Literature Reviews
Here are a few pointers:
- Always look at the list of references at the end of an article. It tells you what other research on the same topic the author consulted in order to write his/her article. You can find those same articles and use them in your literature review!
- If you find an article that is great for your topic, look for it in Google Scholar. Click on the Cited by ## link to see what research has been conducted since the original article that cites that article. This will lead you to more recent research that is likely to be relevant to your topic.
- See if other literature reviews have been done on your topic! They will likely have long lists of references at the end that contain many articles relevant to your topic. (Hint: To find literature reviews, add "literature review" to your keyword search.)
Finding Literature Reviews
As you work on your literature review, you may want to look at other literature reviews for ideas on how to organize yours, or to see if they have found any interesting research that you might like to include in your review.
To search within PsycINFO for literature reviews, go to Advanced Search, find the Methodology menu, and select LITERATURE REVIEW.
Thesis Submission Guidelines
Submitting a thesis?
See the ETD (electronic theses, projects, and dissertations) Guide for information about helpful workshops, submissions guidelines, and forms needed to submit a thesis.
Carmen Mitchell, Institutional Repository Librarian
Office Location: KEL 3307
Looking for theses to use in your research?
Browse for electronic or print copies of Cal State San Marcos theses here:
- Electronic theses: Theses, Dissertations & Graduate Research in CSUSM ScholarWorks
Find more information about locating theses by going to the ETD Submission Guide.
Citing sources is expected in scholarly communities and is almost always required in research papers. Scholars cite:
- to give credit where credit is due;
- so your reader (professor) can find the source that you mentioned in your assignment;
- to add credibility to your research - shows you did the work;
- and to avoid plagiarism!
Not sure where to start? Review this Flow Chart of the citation process before you continue!
APA stands for the American Psychological Association. This is the preferred citation style of many of the social and behavioral sciences. Always remember to check your assignment guidelines or ask your professor which citation style they prefer for your work.
Please note that the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was released in October 2019. The American Psychological Association expects students and professors to transition to this new edition in the spring of 2020 or thereafter. The CSUSM library is awaiting the delivery of the new guides and the transition of other reliable sources to the 7th edition before updating its own citation guide. If you are required to use the 7th edition prior to our updating our APA page, please go directly to the APA's Style and Grammar Guidelines website or contact a librarian directly for assistance.
Official APA Style Manual Resources
- APA Style Manual (BF76.7 P83 2010) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: the most current APA style manual is available at the Kellogg library. Click on the above link to find a copy.
- The official APA website Off campus or need APA guidelines right now? Access the official APA website for citation help by clicking the above link. This site has useful tutorials and up-to-date facts about citing in APA.
Helpful Online Resources
- Purdue Owl: Reference list for online sources Explanations and directions for citing online sources in your reference list.
- A brief introduction to APA Style Created by Purdue University Online Writing Lab.
- Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) More examples of APA-style citations and paper formats from Purdue University's famous OWL website. Use the left-hand menu to find the category of item you are trying to cite.
- Legal Citations in APA Style (CSU Stanislaus) Examples for the most commonly cited federal and California legal documents.
- Citing Government Sources (Washington and Lee University) Guidance on how to cite many different kinds of government documents in APA style.
- Citing Business Sources (CSUSM Library) A guide to the most common APA citation formats needed for business sources, compiled by the CSUSM Business Librarian and COBA faculty.
Also Helpful: Citation Generators
- Zotero Zotero is a tool for storing citations and generating bibliographies using data collected from the library catalog or websites such as Amazon or Google. For more information on using Zotero, see our Zotero Guide. Always double check your results with citation generators, they are not always perfect!
- KnightCite Citation Service This citation generator formats your citations for you. This can be a convenient tool, especially if you have a lot of sources to cite, but it is NOT 100% accurate. ALWAYS check an additional resource like the APA Manual or Purdue OWL to make sure that the citation is formatted correctly!
Sample Papers in APA format
In pairs or small groups,
Briefly review the following articles:
- E-cigarettes: A viable option for smoking cessation?
- E-cigarette use among youth and young adults
- Electronic cigarette use in US adults at risk for or with COPD
Which do you think are scholarly, peer-reviewed research articles? How do you know?
Write down your reasoning for each article to share with the class.