Skip to main content
Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

How to use the library: How to find articles

How Do I Choose Search Terms?

Once you have narrowed down your topic and come up with the research question your paper will explore, identify the main concepts in your query. Use these concepts as your search terms (keywords).

See examples below:


How does domestic violence affect children?                         

Compose your search:

domestic violence and  children

How else might you compose your search?

family violence and  children  

Does providing employment opportunitites to ex-prisoners reduce the risk they will re-offend (recidivism)?

Compose your search:

ex-prisoners and employment and  recidivism

ex-convicts and  employment and  recidivism

Perhaps broaden the search to find more about recidivism in general:


recidivism and  causes

Scholarly v. Popular articles

This 3 minute video from the Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University talks about the differences between popular and scholarly articles. Newspaper and magazine articles are generally written for a popular audience.   It also mentions trade publications

How do I connect from off-campus?

When you are not physically at John Jay, access the databases by first going to the library homepage, then click on the database links.  You will be prompted for your John Jay email user name and password.

Your user name is the letters preceding the @ sign in your email address. For example the email address for John Smith is Enter john.smith in the user name box. Until you change your email password, the default one is the letters jj + the last 4 digits of your social security number i.e. jj1234.

How do I find articles by citation?

If you have the full citation, enter the full or partial citation or the DOI into our Citation Linker. If we have access to the article, you'll see a link to a database where you can find it. After following the link, you may need to navigate to the correct volume & issue. We may not have access to the article you're looking for. 

Alternatively, you can search for the journal title in either our online or print collections.

Citation parts (APA style):

Choose a database

Tab box from homepage: Articles tab pre-selected

On the library home page, Look for the Articles tab on the upper left of the page.

Open the drop down menu for Choose a Database which lists the most popular databases at John Jay as well as a way to find databases by subject or by title.

If you wish to find articles in a given academic discipline, click Choose databases by subject. For example, under Criminal Justice, you will see a list of databases that specialize in the topic.

If you want to go to a specific database whose name you already know, Choose databases by title

Keep in mind that you can search across multiple databases at once using OneSearch

Our most popular database

Academic Search Complete (EBSCOHost) »    

ENG 101 students' favorite, this large database allows you to search and access full text of magazine and scholarly journal articles from all academic disciplines.

In addition to Academic Search Complete, there are hundreds of databases you will have a chance to explore as you continue to take courses in different departments at John Jay. Many databases specialize in covering a specific discipline. See Databases by Subject »  

Search for newspaper articles in the databases listed here »  

Find articles in OneSearch



Advanced search

Searching for a specific TYPE of article?

Some assignments will ask you to find specific types of articles, e.g. a scholarly article, or newspaper article, or magazine article.

The Academic Search Complete database includes articles from magazines and newspapers and academic (scholarly) journals:

We have databases that only contain newspaper articles.  Here is a list of them

Many of the discipline specific databases index articles only from academic / scholarly publications.  E.g. PsycINFO, SocINDEX, Sociological Abstracts