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Research Guide: AHS 102 - Journal Article Summary

Find Journal Article...

NOTE: These are general guidelines and helpful hints. Please check with your instructor for your specific requirements.

Start at the library's home page (

Click on "Find Articles," and then "Health Sciences" to locate the Health Science Databases.

The database that is usually used for this assignment is:

Health Reference Center Academic.

Off Campus Access: If you are off-campus, you'll need to log in. The username is your Web ID (ex: absmith), and the password is your portal password.

Dual Enrollment Students: please use the this link to access Health Reference Center Academic; however, you'll have to ask a librarian for the username and password to get in this way. Thanks!

Health Reference Center Academic Logo

Once inside the database:

  1. On the right side of the search box, click the drop-down arrow beside "Keyword," and then choose "Subject" from the drop-down list that appears.
  2. In the search box, type the name of the body system (or part of the system, or disease) that you are looking for (ex: gastrointestinal system, or large intestine, or irritable bowel syndrome).
  3. Click magnifying glass search button on right to submit the search.
  4. Health Reference Center Academic Search Settings
  5. On the search results page, look at the right sidebar, and in the "Filters" section check "Peer Reviewed Journals" (this is a requirement). Make sure "Full Text" is also checked.
  6. Wait for the page to reload (after choosing "Peer Reviewed Journals"), and then make sure the top of your search results says "Academic Journals."
  7. Scroll through the list of results and select an article that meets the assignment requirements, including the article type which is just above the article's title (i.e. Report, Article, Case Study, Clinical Report, etc.  ...Some instructors will want you to only pick certain types of articles).
    Note: To limit yourself to only viewing Articles, select the "Article" option under "Document Type" in the right sidebar.
  8. Also check the article's word count (in the information under the article's title). Assignment requires at least 500 words; the library recommends 1,000-5,000 words.
  9. Once you've found a possible article, click on the title of the article to read the full-text.
  10. Health Reference Center Academic Search Settings
  11. Scan the article to make sure you see at least 10 medical terms you can define (assignment requirement).
  12. Make sure you can understand enough of the article to summarize it.
  13. When viewing the article, look at the "Tools" box on the right side of the page. Click on "Print" to get a printer-friendly version of the article. Click "Email" to email the article to yourself.
  14. MLA citation information can be found by clicking the gray drop-down arrow next to the article's title at the beginning of the article.
  15. The "Citation Tools" button in the "Tools" box can give you a computer-generated MLA citation, but sometimes the computer gets it wrong. If you copy the citation, be sure to compare it to the Library's MLA for AHS 102 Handout to make any necessary formatting changes. Also, if your instructor requires the URL make sure you include it.
  16. Click "Search Results" link at the top of the article to return to your search results page and look for another article.
Health Reference Center Academic Search Settings

How to Select a Good Article:

  • Check the article's length. 1,000-5,000 words is a good range. Look for an article that has at least 2 full pages of text. Many articles have long lists of references at the end, so they are not as long as they appear.
  • Check the type of article -- on the search results page, look just above the article to see whether it is labeled an "Article," a "Report," a "Case Study," etc. Check with your instructor to see what types of articles are appropriate.
  • Scan through the article to make sure that you will be able to understand it.
  • Check to make sure the article is peer-reviewed -- when reading the article, click on the title of the journal (next to "Source:"), then make sure there is a "Yes" beside "Peer-Reviewed."
  • Make sure the article is related to your chosen/assigned body system (about the entire system, a part of the system, or a disease that affects that system).

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Last updated: 04/30/18