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Willis N. Hackney Library

Finding Articles by Searching Individual Databases

Sample Search of ProQuest's "ProQuest Central" Database for a Journal Article

Sample Search:

Topic:  Animal abuse occurring in the sport of horse racing

  • Search for horse racing in one box, and 
  • Search for animal abuse in the second box, and click the green "Search" button, shown in the screenshot below:


This search returns over 6,661(!) articles  in magazines, journals, and newspapers (ProQuest Central is a very large database!).  Now limit this set to Full Text and limit to Peer reviewed*  in the "Sorted by" area, both in the left sidebar,  circled in orange in the image below.  This removes any non-full-text articles in newspapers or magazines from your set, and retains the only 1,537 full-text journal articles remaining from peer-reviewed journals:  

*Note:  The terms "peer reviewed" and "refereed" refer to journals only, so you can use them to eliminate other kinds of sources from your results list.



Now you have 343 full-text peer-reviewed journal articles in your results list.  You may want to also limit to more recent articles by entering a date range such as articles published between 2010 and 2020 in the Publication date area in the left sidebar (you may have to scroll down to see it), and once you've entered your date range, click the green "Update" button to apply these date limits:



Of the 174 articles remaining, choose Article #4, "Flogging Tired Horses,"  and click on the title, highlighted in aqua below:


Now you are taken to a screen with a variety of options for this peer-reviewed journal article. There are three tabs (circled in orange below).  The Abstract/Details tab (highlighted in the light blue square below) provides more information about the article:



When you look at the Details below, notice the following:

  • The title of the journal article at the top (in the aqua square)
  • Author:  The authors' names (this journal article has three); they are in the yellow square;
  • Publication title:  The title of the journal in which the article is published, plus the publication date, volume and issue numbers that correspond to that date, page numbers on which it appears in the journal, and other information (in the green  square)
  • Volume and Issue numbers:  These correlate to the date of publication; the volume number corresponds to the year of publication, and the issue number to the month, or month/day, or season (in the orange square)
  • Publication Date:  In this case, February 2018 (in the red  square) :



To see the full-text of the article, click on the Full Text - PDF  link in the middle tab, circled in orange.  (The  PDF Full Text Link is preferable to the Full text link because you can see everything as it would appear in the print version, including charts, illustrations, etc.):


When you are reading the article itself, you will notice several things:

  • It is relatively lengthy (although this article is only 10 pages long; some journal articles can run from 50 to 100+ pages!)
  • It has no color photos (typical of journal articles, unless it includes images of microscope slides or other items relevant to the research)
  • It is structured using headings like "introduction," "method," "results," "discussion," and "conclusions."  These clearly define the different parts of the discussion surrounding the research results reported in the journal.



  • There are several tables with raw data resulting from the outcomes of the research conducted.




  • There are quite a few references at the end of the article (which indicates it is a scholarly source, letting you know whose studies the researches built their own study upon.  Note, though, that in MLA Style, this list of sources would be headed by "Works Cited," not "References":

  • Unlike most research articles, the style and vocabulary used in this article are pretty easy to understand for the average reader (this is unusual for a journal article reporting the results of research, as most research articles use jargon or specialized language that may be more difficult to understand).

All ProQuest databases like this one have tools on the top right of the screen where your article resides that help you manipulate your articles, including emailing, printing, citing, etc.  The Email option for sending a PDF of the article to yourself is circled in orange below:


On the screenshot below of the email pop-up, notice several things:

  • You must put a check in the Bibliography box (circled in green) in order to be able to choose the citation style in the drop-down menu (also circled in green) for which you would like for it to create an automatically-generated citation
  • Both your email address and your name (fields are circled in orange below) must be filled in in order for the email to be sent



Note that the citation generated by the database (that can be seen using the Cite link circled in orange belowMOST LIKELY WILL NEED SOME TWEAKING!  Do not just copy and paste it without double-checking it first!!



For example, notice the citation generated in APA Style below, is using the old 6th edition of APA style, not yet the 7th edition, and as a result, the DOI number is not represented in the correct linked format (highlighted in red below):


  • Also, always watch out for the need for these kinds of corrections in citations (regardless of the style!) automatically generated by the databases.  They tend to include the following errors that need correction:
    • Italicization errors
    • Including more than the required information
    • Omitting some of the required information

For more example to compare these citations to as templates, see our Citation Help guide, especially Purdue OWL on that guide for each style, for plentiful examples.