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Research Guides

Eastern Washington University Libraries

English 101 or 113 - Researching Pop Culture & Cultural Artifacts

Databases for Finding Articles

These are all very large databases, since to find scholarly journal articles on your artifact, it is best to "cast a wide net."

Thought Process for Finding Scholarly Articles

First, try to find articles on your artifact. Type in the name of the film, tv show, etc. in the databases above. 

If you get too many results, then add keywords on a particular aspect that you'd like to analyze -- "game of thrones" and gender

If you don't find any that you like, or no results at all, then you're going to have to search for articles related to your artifact.

  • Try searching by the creator or director, rather than the specific show or film -- "shonda rhimes" rather than Station 19
  • Try searching by the category it fits under -- superhero films rather than Venom

Why didn't I find articles on my specific artifact?

Some pop culture artifacts are studied and analyzed more than others.

  • It can't be too new, because it can take several months to years to analyze, write and publish scholarly articles.
  • It has to be pretty unique or ground-breaking. Some pop culture artifacts have more qualities that lend themselves to academic analysis than others. It's not just about box office or ratings popularity. Does it say something original about society? That's much more interesting to scholars to research.

More Information on Searching Academic Search Complete or Any EBSCOhost Database

Basic Search Tips for Any Library Database

  • Exact phrases "in quotes" -- “higher education”
  • Use or for synonyms if you want either term to be present -- athletics or sports
  • Use and if you want all of the terms to be present -- "higher education" and "student athletes"
  • Use an * on the root form of a word to find any version of the root word with different endings -- universit* to find university or universities

Searching an EBSCOhost Database

Let's say you are interested in finding articles about the impact ebooks have on literacy in children. Let's try the education database Education Research Complete.

Type in your search terms.

  • Put one concept per box, with an or in between synonyms.
  • Type in one term or a “simple phrase”. Do not type in a string of words or an entire sentence.

results for search in an EBSCOhost database

Narrowing Resultsscreen shot of limiters Source Types and Subject: Major Heading

We have 159 results -- we can narrow further. The database wants to help us narrow down. Note the various limiters on the left side:

  • by Source Type: academic journals (scholarly) vs. magazines or newspapers
  • by Subject: Major Heading (electronic books and literacy look useful) -- NOTE: narrow by subject one at a time, rather than checking both at once!

If the articles seem too specific or too technical, try narrowing to magazine articles.

Reviewing Your Results

Get more info: For more information about the article, such as a summary, click on the hyperlinked title, or hover over the magnifying glass icon next to the title.

Re-sort the results: These results are by relevance, or which ones have our keywords the most frequently. You can change to by date if you wish.

Note length of the article: How many pages is it? If it’s less than 1 page (1/3p or 1/8p), it’s probably not worth your time.

Finding the Full Text

When you are searching in one of the library databases and the article in question isn't available full text right there, look for this icon Check for Full Text iconor a hyperlink that says EWU - Check for Full Text.

Clicking the Check for Full Text button in the databases brings up a screen like this...

result screen for Check for Full Text

Step 1: If the article is available online, it will say Fulltext available at the top. (It looks like a hyperlink, but it is a link to take you to the page you're already on.) Under View It, you will see links to the databases that have the article. In the example above the article is available in Elsevier ScienceDirect Journals Complete.

Step 2: If the article is not available full text, it will say Check availability. To see if we have it in print or microfilm, scroll down and click Find in a Library. If we do have at least one issue of the source, it will give you the holdings record for that source (date range held, location, and call number).

Step 3: If the article is not available full text, and we do not have it in print/microfilm, click the link Request this article using Interlibrary Loan (in the middle under Can't find it? -- see image above). You will need to log in using your NetID/SSO. Verify that the fields were filled out correctly and click the red Submit Request button. Articles usually take around 5 days. You will be notified via your EWU email that the article is available for you to download. (Directions are in the email.) 

Save Relevant Articles

When you find articles you would like to examine further, click the link Add to Folder. Once you are finished, click Folder View in the gold Folder has items box on the right side of the screen. You can email all the results to yourself.