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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 opportunitities 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

formerly incarcerated and employment and recidivism

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


recidivism and  causes


What is a scholarly or peer-reviewed article?

This 3 minute video from the Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University talks about the differences between popular and scholarly articles.  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. Your password is the one you are currently using to access your email. If you experience problems while logging in, please visit the Password Reset Site or call the DoIT help desk at 212 237 8200.


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):
Author last name comma, First initial period. Year in parentheses. Period. Article title, period. Journal title in italics, comma, volume number in italics, no space, issue number in parentheses, comma, page numbers, period.

Find articles in OneSearch

Advanced search

How to find articles in OneSearch

OneSearch is a good place to find articles on many subjects. About OneSearch »

There are many approaches to finding articles; OneSearch is just one of them. You could also choose a specific database. Keep reading below.

Choose a database

Search box from homepage: Databases tab pre-selected

On the Library's homepage, select the Databases tab in the main search box.

Open the dropdown menu for Select from popular databases, which lists the most-used databases at John Jay. You can also find databases by subject or by title.

If you wish to find articles in a given academic discipline, view 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, view databases by title

Our most popular database

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.

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.

Use the Source Types under Refine Results to limit your results to magazines, journals, newspapers, or trade publications. Each search result should have a source type associated with it, like Periodical, along with where it was published (magazine title).


Looking for newspaper articles? Some databases that contain only newspaper articles.

Looking for scholarly articles? Many of the discipline-specific databases include articles only from academic / scholarly publications, such as...