Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: Apr 21, 2023     Views: 26

There are a few methods you might try!

It might sound odd, but the easiest method might be to Google what you're looking for! Many search engines have advanced searching features. You can use Google in conjunction with library tools to get access to what you discover if you run into a paywall. 

For example, you can limit in Google's Advanced search (you can find it in the future by googling "Google Advanced Search") to a magazine domain and then searching for your topic. To find the domain of a magazine website, Google the magazine (or periodical) that was suggested to you, grab the url from the address bar in your browser, and plug it into the advance search. Here's an example for National Geographic's:  

You can limit in Google to specific dates by clicking the option under the search bar (after doing an initial search) for "Any date" > Custom Range and limiting to your timeframe needed.

Google's search engine allows for phrase searching, so you might not even need an advanced search! This would be the easiest route. For example, in your regular search string, you might try "Death with dignity" in quotation marks alongside the title of the magazine you want an article from, like this: 

search string

You will need to verify results by the url above the hyperlinked title, to see where the result is coming from, but it can be a quick way to get what you need. 

While we do hold specific magazine titles and more in some of our library databases, it can be complicated to search for a topic AND narrow down the specific magazine you want the article to come from, but it is possible. The magazine may show up in more than one database, and the coverage dates might differ depending on the database. Sometimes the database holds archival dates or only carries more current articles for the magazine. What's more, if you're needing recently-published articles, they might not even be indexed yet and therefore won't show up in our databases! You can find which databases give access to a magazine/journal/newspaper by searching for the periodical title in the Discovery catalog OR by going to our title finder here (search under "Journal" for all serial types - some places use "journal" when they really should use "serial" or "periodical"). 

That last link is listed on the very top of this database A-Z list, if you ever need to get back to it. Once you find the database a periodical is is held in, you can sometimes search within those holdings for your topic. 

Here is a GIF showing how to use the Journal Title Finder and search within a specific title once you select a database the title is held in: 

search within demo


If you were to search the Discovery catalog (main search bar off the library homepage), you would be given the same access and information: 


discovery example

Also note that if you run into a paywall in your Google searching (or any other online search engine), try copying and pasting the title into a Discovery catalog search to see if we have the article in one of our databases. Once you have a title, the Discovery catalog can be quite helpful. Maybe use quotation marks around the title to search for it as a phrase if you aren't finding it quickly. Contact us if you are having trouble finding it in the catalog. The Discovery catalog searches through a lot of our databases all at once, but can't limit to a specific magazine AND topic easily. But you might also try a search string like "new yorker" (or whatever magazine) AND "death with dignity" (or your topic) in our catalog.

You can learn more about searching the Discovery catalog here.