Skip to main content

Finding Articles and Books

Use the suggestions below to guide your use of these tools. 

Find articles in scholarly databases

To start your search, select one of the Libraries' many scholarly databases. If you know the name of your database, find it with Databases A-Z. Find curated lists of databases by subject in our Research Guides.

Searching a scholarly database is different from using a Google search. Try these best practices: 

  • Use an advanced search, which allows you to search for multiple keywords. The advanced search's "AND" option allows you to enter more than one term in multiple search boxes to focus your search, e.g. apples AND oranges for articles about both. Use "OR" to broaden your results, e.g. apples OR oranges for articles about either. 
  • Many articles contain summaries or "abstracts," which can help you determine if they fit your need. 
  • The results may link to a full-text version of the article. If one is not available, clicking the "Find it @ NU" button on the buttondatabase's left-hand navigation will display other Northwestern databases that include it. Requesting the item through Interlibrary Loan is another option. 

Find books or articles in our catalog

NUsearch offers another way of finding books or individual articles in journals. There are a few ways to conduct a book or article search:

  • For a Google-approach, just use the NUSearch search box, and enter your keywords. Be sure to select the search box's "Books, Images and More" tab for books and the "Articles" tab for articles. All results with those keywords in the article title, source title or description will appear in the search results. 
  • If you know the author or title, try a more targeted Advanced Search. After selecting either "Author/Creator" or "Title" from the drop-down menus, enter the name and/or title into the search boxes. Use quotation marks to search around the author's first and last name, or around all or part of the book title, for a more precise search.