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Finding Related Articles (Based on the Articles You Already Have)

Do have you articles on your topic? Learn how to make the most of these sources and find related articles.


Do you already have a course reading or articles on your topic? Learn how to make the most of these sources using targeted searching.

  • How can you make the most use of these articles to find additional related articles?
  • How can you save time by reading 3-5 articles and using a targeted search strategy to find more?

Step 1: Read one article you have.

Pick one of the articles. Read it and take notes. Pay attention to the main ideas, definitions of terms, evidence used to support the main ideas and statements with which you disagree. Identify the main ideas or themes. Identify keywords used by the author.

Need a tool to help? Try the Reading Chart (PDF) from the Online Writing Center.

Step 2: Read the remaining material.

Next, read the remaining sources you have using this same technique of taking notes and identifying the themes. Are any of the themes or evidence overlapping? Are you interested in exploring these themes more? Do either or both of the topic and the themes of the materials fit the criteria of the assignment?

Write down the concepts and search terms from the themes:Selecting keywords tutorial

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 Note: Use this tutorial to learn how to combine the concepts into a search strategy.                  

Step 3: Conduct a targeted search in library databases.

  • Go to the Library's homepage.  (Click Library Home on iGuide.) 
  • Click Databases A-Z under Articles, Books and More.

Select a database that matches the topic of your sources. Search the databases using the search terms you discovered in the sources you read. As you evaluate the database results, look for the themes from your other materials.  Tip: Read the title and abstract.  Look for material that counters the themes and evidence. If you need more, search additional databases using your search terms. Tip: Do the databases have a “related article” or “find similar” link on the results page? These will give you a list of results selected by the database based on your keywords.

Bibliography Mining Tutorial

Step 4: Use the list of references to find older, related material.

Use the “times cited” feature to find newer, more current, related material. To learn more about this technique consult:
Bibliography Mining and Cited Reference Searching (Video Link).

Step 5: Evaluate the articles and other sources.

An important step, after finding your articles and other sources, is to evaluate them for credibility, relevance, timeliness, and point of view. To learn more on how to evaluate sources consult Evaluating Source Quality (from the Library Research and Information Literacy Skills resource).

Got Question? Ask a Librarian