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Infotrac Magazine & Journal Articles


If you need magazine or newspaper articles for a report-or if you're doing your own research-Infotrac databases are an effective way to find what you need. You can access a selected collection of magazine and newspaper articles online to search for articles and even download and print out your results. Here's what to do:

  1. From the Alameda County Library homepage at, click on Articles & Databases within the Research Center section of the page. (If you're reading this online, you've probably already done that).

  2. Look down the list of databases for one that addresses your topic. If you are looking for information in science, psychology or another "academic" subject, click on the Expanded Academic. If you are looking for material on celebrities, home repairs, current events or other nonspecialist topics, try the General Reference Center. Sometimes you'll see more than one useful database.

  3. If you are at home, be sure you have your library card nearby! Once you select a database, you will be prompted for your password -- type in the barcode number that's on the back of your library card. If you are at the Library, just click "Proceed."

  4. Once you have gotten into a specific database, such as the General Reference Center, you can search for articles using a subject search or a keyword search. Use subject searches when your topic is fairly broad and well known. "Gun control," "earthquakes" and "Tony Hawk" (the famous skateboarder) are all big enough to be found in a subject search. Use keyword searches if your topic is more specialized or less well known. Articles on "yurts," "Appalachian folk music" and "Bucky Lasek" (a skater who's not quite as famous as Tony Hawk) can all be found through a keyword search. You can switch from subject to keyword search by using the menu bar on the left side of the screen.

  5. Infotrac has obtained permission to display the text of many thousands of articles. This means you can see the entire article online. When you are looking at your list of results, check to see if the "display text" option is available. Clicking on those links will call up the full article, which you can read and print out at the Library-or at home from your own printer. (If the article you want is not available as full text, take down the title, date, and page information and check with a librarian to see if we carry the periodical you'll need.)

  6. When you're looking for articles on Infotrac, remember that the ones closest to the top of the list were written most recently. Be careful always to check the date an article was written, especially if you're collecting information for a school or university research project-many teachers will insist that all your sources be no more than two or three years old.

  7. Return to Magazine, Journal Newspaper and Articles