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IvyTILT: Finding Articles (Gallery version)

TEST Gallery

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define "scholarly article."

  2. Identify article databases available at Ivy Tech.

  3. Search for articles using online tools.

  4. Evaluate and refine your search results.

  5. Select the best sources.

Module Checklist:

  • Learning Activity: Search Strategies
  • Learning Activity: Scholarship as Conversation
  • Learning Activity: Acquire
  • Learning Activity: Authority
  • Self-Check: Are You Ready for the Quiz?
  • IvyLearn - 3. Finding Articles - Quiz


What is a scholarly article?

  • Authored by a field expert or professional
  • Published in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Research-based 
  • Cites other relevant sources of information

What is a database?

  • Organizes information for rapid retrieval online

  • Contains, articles, citations, reference entries, descriptions of book in the library catalog, and more relevant sources

  • Houses information not freely accessible on the internet. Libraries pay for students to use databases.

What is a database aggregator?

  • Allows user to search multiple databases with one interface, like a database "supermarket" with many products under one roof

  • Incorporates advanced searching features such as selecting a set of databases, combining key words through Boolean searching, and limiting by full text options, date ranges, and type of publication

  • Popular database aggregators available through Ivy Tech libraries includeEBSCOhost, JSTOR, LexisNexis, and ProQuest, among others.

Ivy Tech Search Tools

Discover! is an embedded quick search tool, or discovery service, available on the homepage for all Ivy Tech regional campus libraries.

Simply type in your research topic to pull books, articles, videos, and other related items.

Explore the Discover! tool on your regional campus library website:

  1. Log in to MyIvy
  2. Open the Library tab and select your regional campus
  3. Locate the Discover! search bar


Library Guides are an excellent tool for finding scholarly resources on a specific subject area. Ivy Tech librarians develop these custom research guides for many of the most common courses the College offers. LibGuides contain comprehensive and up-to-date information and are reviewed by the College instructors for relevancy each semester. Review the LibGuides for your regional campus to make your research project easier!

Library Guides from Ivy Tech Community College Libraries

More Ivy Tech Search Tools

A-Z Lists

Ivy Tech libraries give you access to many general article databases, as well as subject specific databases.  

Online academic databases link you to thousands of periodicals and provide citation information, abstracts or summaries, and often the full text of scholarly articles. Some academic databases also house images, audio files, and videos related to your topic.

Explore the A-Z list on your regional campus library website:

  1. Log in to MyIvy
  2. Open the Library tab and select your regional campus
  3. Select A-Z list to review all of the databases that you can access through your regional campus library

    Publication Finder lists and links periodicals available through the online databases provided by your Ivy Tech library. 

    Browse by Discipline or enter your own search terms into Publication Finder:

  4. Log in to MyIvy
  5. Open the Library tab and select your regional campus
  6. Locate Publication Finder on your regional campus library website



Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of someone else as your own. If you don’t credit the author, you are committing a type of theft called plagiarism. Whether you quote directly or paraphrase ideas, you must acknowledge the original author.  It is plagiarism when you:

  • Use the words or ideas of another person without citation.
  • Paraphrase that person's words or ideas without citation.
  • Buy or use a term paper written by someone else.
  • Copy words from a print or electronic source and use them without citing them.
  • Reuse a previously written paper without the consent of the instructor.

For more information about recognizing and avoiding plagiarism, check out this helpful brochure.   

Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Use and emphasize your own ideas. Your original thoughts and conclusions should be the focus.
  • Use the ideas of others to reinforce your position and not as a substitute for what you have to say.
  • When taking notes, be sure to take note of the source and author.
  • Use quotation marks  "     "  when directly stating another person's words.
  • Consider citing any information that is not common knowledge.
  • When in doubt about plagiarism, ask your instructor for guidance.

Is It Plagiarism?

Plagiarism ranges from copying word-for-word to paraphrasing a passage without credit. Below is a sentence from a book. The original source is followed by its use in three student papers.  As you read, try to identify which of the students have committed plagiarism.

Original Passage:  "Still, the telephone was only a convenience, permitting Americans to do more casually and with less effort what they had already been doing before." (Boorstin, Daniel J. The Americans: The Democratic Experience.  New York: Random House, 1973.)

Meg: The telephone was a convenience, enabling Americans to do more casually and with less effort what they had already been doing before.

Brian: Daniel J. Boorstin argues that the telephone was only a convenience, permitting Americans to do more casually and with less effort what they had already been doing before.

Peter:  Daniel J. Boorstin has noted that most Americans considered the telephone as simply "a convenience," an instrument that allowed them "to do more casually and with less effort what they had already been doing before" (Boorstin 390).

In these examples, both Meg and Brian have committed plagiarism.  Meg doesn’t acknowledge that the words and ideas she uses belong to Boorstin, leaving her readers to think they are hers.  Although Brian acknowledges his source, he has copied Boorstin’s original text word for word but has not supplied quotation marks to indicate direct quotation.

Note how Peter's use of Boorstin's words and ideas differs.  By naming the author, he has established the authority of his source at the beginning of his sentence. Peter has also provided an in-text citation giving the author and page number (MLA citation style).  He has paraphrased some of the author’s words and directly quoted others. His use of quotation marks makes it clear to the reader which words are his and which belong to the author.   



A copyright is a set of legal rights that an author has over his or her work for a limited period of time. Images found on the web, sound or music files, text in print or online--all of these created works might have restrictions on their use by anyone other than the copyright holder.

Copyright ensures that the person who created something (a book, a song, a painting, an idea, etc.) is reimbursed for his or her intellectual work. If there were no copyright protection, there would be no economic incentive to create these works. Most information is protected by copyright. The exception is “public domain” work, which is work that can be reproduced or used by anyone. The use of public domain resources still requires giving credit to the author.

Here are some examples of public domain sources:

Publications of the U.S. Government:

  • Examples: U.S. laws and other publications of federal and state governments, such as census reports and education papers

Copyright that has been waived by the author:

  • Example: Software called freeware

Works on which the copyright has expired:

  • Example: Works by William Shakespeare or Mark Twain

Fair Use

Copyrighted works can be used, copied, or displayed without permission or paying of fees under certain circumstances. To determine if you have a “fair use”, you must analyze and weigh four factors to balance the rights of the copyright holder and user.

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


Disclaimer: The information provided here is not meant to be legal advice. If you are not sure if your use is covered by the Fair Use doctrine please consult an attorney.



As we wrap up Citing Sources, let’s look at some helpful definitions:

  • citation: the act of giving credit to the author or source of words or ideas that are not your own
  • plagiarism: using the words or ideas of another person without proper citation of the source
  • paraphrase: to restate the text of a passage in a different form; to put it in one’s own words
  • copyright: the intellectual property rights an author/creator has over his or her work for a period of time
  • public domain: works not protected by copyright and may be used/reproduced by anyone
  • bibliography: a list of sources consulted in the preparation of a paper or other coursework; in research papers this list is known as “Works Cited” in MLA style or “References” in APA style
  • in-text citation: notes that occur within the text that acknowledge the source of borrowed information; also known as parenthetical citations

Now that you've reviewed source citation, can you:

  • Explain how doing research is part of a "scholarly conversation" 
  • Recognize the different parts of a citation?
  • Explain why and when you must cite sources used in your coursework?
  • List ways to avoid plagiarism?
  • Find citation tools in journal databases or know where to find NoodleTools?
  • Identify the information needed to cite different types of sources in either APA or MLA format?
  • Explain why a student needs to be aware of copyright?