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EXSC 200: Introductory Research Methods: Find Articles!

Review Articles

How do you know when you've found a review article? Some things to look for (note that it doesn’t have to have ALL of these things!)

  • It is not presenting original research results;
  • It has a title that includes the word review! e.g ‘BLAH BLAH BLAH: A Review’ or “Blah Blah: A systematic review’;
  • There is no ‘methods’ section, or if there IS a methods section, the methods are about how the authors searched various databases to find other articles on the topic;
  • The title of the journal is something like “Annual Review of X” or “Reviews in X”;
  • The database allows you to filter by article type, and you have selected ‘review.’

Finding Full Text of Articles

There are three methods for obtaining the actual articles you wish to read:

Method 1: In some databases, you will be able to link directly to the full-text article. Look around, as different databases have different interfaces. Look for a link or buttons that says "Check for Full Text" or Download PDF or similar. If given the choice between a PDF or HTML version of the article, always choose the PDF format. This will give you an exact image, including page numbers, of the article as it appears in the paper journal.

Method 2: If a direct link to full text is not available, then check Primo Search to see if the library subscribes to the journal. Search for the title of the journal that the article was published in.

You may find that there is online access available for this journal. Check the dates that are available...most of the time the link will say "Fulltext access available from 19xx." Check to see whether the article that you're looking for was published during the date range that is available. If so, then click the 'View fulltext' link and either browse through past issues, or look for a "search within this publication" link until you find the article that you need.  You may find that Primo says the journal is available at Collins Memorial Library Print Journals, which means we have the journal physically in the library.  If the article you are looking for is only available in print in the library rather than online, in which case you  you will need to check either the current periodicals area on the first floor, or go downstairs to the basement to find the bound volumes of periodicals.  If the periodical is available only in microform, you may submit a request for electronic delivery of the article via your Interlibrary Loan account.

Method 3: If your searching indicates that the article is not available in any format, then request the article through Tipasa, your Interlibrary Loan (ILL)  account. ( Most databases include links to use ILL within each record.) It usually takes about a week or less to receive an electronic copy of the article.

And at any time if you have questions, send Pavel an email! 

Searching Tips

Use these tips and tricks to get the most focused yet comprehensive results on your topic:

Remember to search multiple keywords (like lactate threshold OR anaerobic threshold OR lactic acid) to get more results on your topic.


Add concepts to your search: use AND to narrow down your search (like anaerobic threshold AND intensity)


Use subject headings to target your search and find articles that are most relevant to you. PubMed will automatically attempt to search your keyword in the MeSH subject headings; use the 'Details' tab to investigate more and be sure the best subject heading is being used.


Use truncation symbols to search for multiple forms of a word. In PubMed, SportDiscus, and CINAHL, just add an asterisk (*) where you want the truncation to start. Search for running, runner, run, runs, by entering run*in the search box. 


Keep track of your strategies, so you don't forget how to find great resources!

Need Help?

Stuck? Need Help? This guide is only an introduction to the many resources available to you.  If you have any questions at all, or if you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact Eli!

Jack Snoozing'

Eli Gandour-Rood

Science Librarian
tel: (253) 879-3678
office:  Collins Library 117

Key Database: PubMed

PubMed is your go-to source for searching the medical literature. Use the limits link to narrow your search by language, subject population, or topic subset. When looking at articles, be sure to check for the blue 'Check for full text' button to check for full-text access through Collins Library. 

Key Database: SPORTDiscus with Full Text

SPORTDiscus is a comprehensive database of journal articles related to sports, fitness, and related disciplines. Many full-text articles available, and more can be found using the 'Check for full text' link. There are many non-peer reviewed sources included in this database, so you may wish to limit your search to only academic journals.

Additional Databases

Looking for review articles specifically? Check out these options: