Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Course & Subject Guides

Tips for Navigating Owen Library - Johnstown Campus: Finding Articles

Don't get lost in Owen Library! Learn how to find and access various resources & services available at Owen Library or through Pitt's University Library System.


A database is a searchable online collection or index of items.  Databases are great sources for articles because much of the material in ULS databases is the high quality, scholarly research information that most professors want. Most of our databases offer links to the full text of articles. To search a database:

  • If you know the name of the database you want to search, start at the Databases A-Z list. 
  • If you’re not sure which database to search, you can select databases in a particular Subject or ask a librarian for guidance (either in-person, by calling (814) 269-7300, or chatting online at Ask-A-Librarian).



Suggested Databases . .

These databases are excellent starting points for your research because they have something on every subject:

Journals, newspapers, magazines in electronic format


Full Text Finder search box

  • Can't find what you need electronically? Our print-format journals, magazines, and newspapers are all listed in the PITTCat.  Search the catalog to get the location of the journal/magazine/newspaper.
  • Generally, our print-format journals are shelved on the 1st Floor of the library, behind the Reference Collection stacks. Daily newspapers and the current issues of select journal titles are shelved in the lounge seating area on the 1st Floor near the New Books.
  • Microfilm and fiche formats are stored in cabinets on the 1st Floor, near the Video Collection.

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 (i.e., 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).

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