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Humanitarian aid and development: Articles, Journals and Databases

Guide to assist students studying the Bachelor of Humanitarian aid and development

What is an article?

An article (or journal article) is a paper published in a journal. Articles will present highly regarded and authoritative information and include bibliographies or reference lists of a similar quality. They can focus on original research or synthesise research of others. Some articles may be peer reviewed. 

You should be able to identify a journal name, author details, a title and volume an issue details.

Find a known article

If you know the exact title of the article, type it into your search tool e.g. Library Search or a database. Enclose the exact title in quotation marks.

Filter your results by "articles"

Find an article using keywords

  • If you have a key concepts to search for chose an advanced search to combine these terms
  • Use quotation marks around exact terms e.g. "academic performance"
  • Use "OR" between similar terms to find synonyms e.g. "academic performance" OR "academic achievement"
  • Filter results
    • by "article"
    • peer reviewed
    • full text online
    • date range

Watch this video to see these search strategies

Journals in Humanitarian aid

Scholarly Journals

Different sources can be used for different purposes.  Wikipedia may be useful to give you background information to help you gain an understanding of your topic but it will NOT be acceptable as a reference to support your assignment. 

A scholarly or peer reviewed source is work that has been written by researchers and academics, and has been through a rigorous selection and review process prior to publication.

If you need to verify if your source is peer reviewed you can use Ulrich's Periodicals DirectoryType in the journal title (eg. Medical Journal of Australia) – not the article title – and you will be able to see if the journal is peer-reviewed by the little referee jumper symbol next to the title.

You can limit your search to peer reviewed resources by filtering on the left hand side of your Library Search results page.

Key databases

What are databases?

Choosing the Best Database

Library Search is a simple way to search for information resources, including books and journal articles.  However, Library Search does not always show ALL the resources held in specialist databases.

Sometimes you need to search discipline-specific, specialist databases to find the information that you need for your assignments.  These databases  are tailored to a particular discipline, and therefore provide the ability to narrow your search in ways that wouldn't be possible in a general database or search tool like Library Search e.g in a psychology database you can limit to clinical trials, or to age groups studied, or to evidence-based practice.

Databases vary in content, geographical coverage and subject area  and may include more than just journal articles, e.g. systematic reviews, conference proceedings, book chapters, patient information sheets, theses, or drug information may also be covered.

Have a look at the Databases suggestions on the right or the Databases list on the Library home page.

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