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Finding Journal Articles

This guide is primarily for students who need to find scholarly journal articles for their assignments. It explains what scholarly/peer reviewed journal articles are, and outlines how to search for them in the Library catalogue and databases.

Where to search

Peer reviewed or scholarly journal articles are generally not available for free to the wider public, so you won't be able to find them searching in Google. Instead, you will need to use the library catalogue or an appropriate database. Read on for some tips on the best places to search!

Curtin Library Catalogue

What is the Library Catalogue?

The Curtin Library Catalogue is one of the main tools that you can use to find materials within the Library's collection. It includes print and electronic books, journal articles, videos and much more. The Library Catalogue is a good place to start searching for resources on your assignment topic, as it is easy to use and searches content from multiple databases simultaneously. The catalogue includes most, but not all, of Curtin Library's journal holdings.


Searching the Library catalogue

Watch the video below to find out how to search the library catalogue effectively:

Library databases

What are Library Databases?

Databases are large, searchable indexes of journal articles and other items. They can cover a range of subject areas (multidisciplinary) or they can concentrate on a specific area (subject specific). Databases are a great place to find scholarly journal articles for your assignment! They offer more sophisticated search features than the Library Catalogue, which can make it easier to focus your search and find relevant material. In some subject areas, such as law, specialist databases also contain material which is not included in the Library Catalogue.

Selecting a database

Curtin Library subscribes to many multidisciplinary and subject-specific databases. The Databases A-Z list is a tool for selecting relevant databases for your subject area.


Looking for Australian content? The Australia icon appears next to databases which include Australian material.

Searching a database

Watch the video below to learn how to search for journal articles in a library database. In this video we demonstrate ProQuest, a popular multidisciplinary database.

Limiting to peer-reviewed articles

Have you been asked to find peer-reviewed articles? Look out for options in the library catalogue and databases to limit to peer-reviewed.

In the library catalogue you can limit to peer-reviewed articles by choosing the Peer-reviewed Articles option under Availability in the 'Filter my results' panel on the right side of the page.

Many of the library databases also provide the option to limit to peer-reviewed. For example, in ProQuest you can choose to limit to Peer reviewed on the initial search page or on the search results page. 

What about Google?

Google provides a good starting point when searching for websites, government reports, images, videos and more. A Google search can also be useful for providing background information about your topic and helping to identify alternative keywords. But take care! Not all information you find on the internet is accurate, up-to-date and reliable – remember anyone can publish anything.

It is important to evaluate your information before you decide to use it in your assignment. Watch our video on Evaluating information to find out more.