When we refer to articles we are usually talking about articles from a journal. This may be a print journal or an ejournal. Journals are published on a regular basis throughout the year, for example monthly or quarterly, and contain many journal articles.

To search for articles in a particular subject you need to use a bibliographic database. Our databases index bibliographic information about articles such as article title and author; and publication details such as the journal where the article is published, as well as the year, volume and issue number. They also include information such as keywords, subject headings, thesaurus terms and abstracts which will help you to find an article relating to your subject.

You will need to develop a search plan to help you use the search functions in the databases, in order to find the information you need.

The databases that you have access to will depend on the type of user you are.

Keele users can access any Keele-subscribed databases; there is a selection for medical, midwifery and nursing students. You will need your Keele username and password off-campus.

NHS users can access the databases available in the Healthcare Databases Advanced Search (HDAS) facility - see the database link on our NHS Resources page. You will need your NHS OpenAthens username and password.

To find an article you need to already have quite a bit of information about that article, including:

  • the title of the article
  • the author(s)
  • the journal that article is published in
  • the year the article was published
  • the volume and issue of the journal where the article was published
  • the page numbers for the article if possible

Then you can start searching:

  • You will find our journals lists on our Journals page; check that the holdings cover the year, volume and issue that you are looking for.
  • Check the Keele A-Z list of ejournals for the journal title and see whether the issue you need is available.
  • Check the NHS My Journals list of journals for the journal title and whether the holdings include the issue you are looking for.
  • Check whether the article is available via open access by searching on Google Scholar.

If you cannot find the article ask a member of our staff or apply for an inter-library loan.

When you are searching databases for journal articles you may find that you can get access to the full-text of some articles but not all the articles. This is because although we have subscribed to the database for the bibliographic information we do not have a subscription to all the journal titles it contains.

Where we have a subscription to the journal title you should automatically see a link to the full-text within the database. If you do not see a link it is worth checking on our A-Z journal lists to see if that journal title is available in a different database or in case we have the print format.

If you need an article that we do not have full-text for you can request an inter-library loan and we will try to get it for you from another library.

You'll find more help on finding articles in our Online Guides and Support section.