HIST 300 - Introduction to Historical Thinking

Class library research guide for Introduction to Historical Thinking.

Library Research Guide

Finding Journal Articles in Search It

Search for and locate journal articles through K-State Libraries' Search It. Enter keywords related to your topic in the search box. Search It indicates when the full text of an article is available online and when a paper copy of the article is available in the Libraries. If the article is not available online or in print, request articles through Interlibrary Loan

1. Select the tab "Books, articles + more". Enter keywords related to topic in the Search It search box.

Search It screen displaying keyword search for articles

2. Search results will include books, journal articles, and more.

Screenshot of Search It results showing books articles and other sources.

3. Click on "Peer-reviewed journals" to limit results to journal articles, specifically from journals with articles reviewed by other scholars prior to publishing.

Search It screen featuring link to Peer reviewed journals

4. If the full text of the article is available online, Search It will indicate that with a green dot. Click on View It to link to the full text.

Search It screen showing links to full text of articles

5. Search It displays a grey button when the full text of an article is not online.

  • Click on Check for physical copy to learn if the library has the journal on the shelf.
  • Use the publication date and/or volume from the article citation to determine if the library has the correct volume in print.
  • The stacks guide shows where a call number is shelved.

Search It screen displaying information when journal is available in print in the library

6. When an article is not available online or in print from the Libraries, request a copy using Interlibrary Loan

  • A grey button indicates the full text is not available online.

Finding Articles in JSTOR

Click through each tab for a step-by-step guide explaining how to find articles using JSTOR.

The databases link is located on the Libraries' homepage in the Search It box. 

  1. Find databases by name. If you know the name of the database, click on the first letter of it's name. To access JSTOR, click on the letter "J".
  2. Find databases by subject/discipline. These are roughly organized by College/Department. For History, click on: Humanities & Social Sciences, then History.

how to use databases

Bonus: Tags are used to label databases with unique features (lexile scores) or types of sources (primary sources, music, or videos) 

Find JSTOR at the bottom of the "J" page. 

Finding J-Stor using databases

Advanced Search offers options to focus your search so that you don't get 100,000 irrelevant articles. 

Screenshot of JSTOR home page with link to Advanced Search

  1. Each line is for a separate concept
  2.  Insert OR between synonyms or related terms to tell JSTOR that you will accept results with any of those words. 
  3. Click "Articles." This removes the hundreds of book reviews that will appear otherwise. 
  4. See the next slide for more selections you can make on the bottom of this search page. 

Screenshot of JSTOR Advanced Search screen

  1. Limit your search to articles from journals relevant to your topic. (JSTOR's default search looks at all of the disciplines.)
  • Not sure what is included in a discipline? Click the arrow to the left of the check box to reveal a list of all the journals grouped under that heading.
  • You can un-check or check specific titles from this list, too.
  • You can choose multiple disciplines just by checking them.

Screen shot of limiting options on JSTOR's Advanced Search page

  • Article title
  • Author(s)
  • volume: 47, Issue (No. 4) (Winter, 2005) Page numbers: 551-570
  • Journal title
  • Read or download articles
  • Sentences from article that include your search terms

Screenshot of JSTOR search results page

  • Citation tools–saves to programs like RefWorks. Does not create the citation for you.
  • Use the stable URL to share or save the link to the article.
  • The arrow turns the pages.

Screenshot of an article page in JSTOR

Finding Articles in America: History And Life

Search for academic articles about U.S. and Canadian history using America: History and Life.

America: History and Life complements JSTOR. You can access older journals in JSTOR, but you cannot access the most recent 3-5 years of articles in JSTOR. Use America: History and Life to locate more recent scholarship.

Only six people can be in the database at a time. Be patient and check back frequently!

Screenshot of America History and Life search page

Manage your search using these methods:

  • Use quotation marks to force the database to search for your words exactly as you entered them:
    •  "USS Maine" will only find articles that mention "USS Maine," while USS Maine may find irrelevant articles talking about the state of Maine and another Navy ship.
  • Select a Field to search for your keywords in specific parts of an article or record. If your keywords appear in the abstract of an article, the article is likely to actually be about your topic.
  • Set the Historical Period. Tell the database what years are relevant to your research. (e.g. 1763-1780, 1939-1945) It's not perfect, but the results will be more relevant.
  • Select the Publication Type. Tell the database if you need an academic journal article. 
  • Select the Document Type. Select Article to eliminate all of the book reviews that can clog up search results. 

Searching for Articles in Other History Databases

Begin at the K-State Libraries Home Page and click Databases in the Search It box.

You can find databases by:

  • Title (click on the first letter of the database's name)
  • Subject: Humanities & Social Sciences: History
  • Searching: Enter the first part of the database name in the search box on the databases page

Choosing a database:

  • Read the description of a database. Each database is unique.
    • America: History and Life covers the history of the United States and Canada;
    • Historical Abstracts covers world history of everywhere EXCEPT the U.S. and Canada.  
    • African American Newspapers provide a perspective on events that you may not encounter in newspapers and magazines organized in American Periodical Series.
  • Explore databases outside of History and Primary Sources. If you are studying the history of corn, then you may find a lot of good information in an Agriculture database like Agricola.

Choosing your words:

  • Use key terms or phrases, not sentences.
  • Try synonyms or related terms-
    • Your texts and professors are great sources of these terms.
  • When you find a relevant article, look its keywords or subjects. Add those to your list of search terms.
  • Think historically--if you are looking for primary sources, try to imagine what someone during that time might have said.
    • The author of a New York Times article from 1916 would not have referred to World War I. Instead look for terms like:
      • "The War"
      • "the war in France,"
      • battles (Ardennes)
      • generals or world leaders (Kaiser).
    • Read a few articles to get a feel for the language of the time