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How to Search for Sources and Manage Them

How to develop a search strategy

Academic Articles

© Photo by ReadyElements, pixabay license

Where to search?

Link your library to Google Scholar:

1. Access the Google Scholar Settings.
2. Click "Library links" on the left-hand menu.
3. Type your institute's name in the search field.
4. Select the checkbox next to your institute's name.
5. Click "Save".

Get further:

Where to search?

  • swisscovery
    The Library catalogue for electronic and physical resources.
    Register with your SWITCH Edu-ID to access the Library's licensed materials and collect references on your profile.

    On the results page:
    Under "Resource Type", select "Articles" or "Newspaper Articles".
    Under "Show only", you can also select "Peer-reviewed" to find articles written and evaluated by experts in the same field.

Get further:

Where to search?

  • Databases
    The Library's full-text databases.

Damn, We Do Not Have Access to This Article

As long as there is life, there is hope:


  • Request a photocopy of the article through an interlibrary loan if it is available in another library (free service for members of the Graduate Institute community).
  • If you are in Switzerland, check Sci-Hub.
    Under Swiss law, it is legal to use published documents for private use, even if they have been unlawfully made available on the Internet. "Private use" includes reading and citing the documents for research, but it is illegal to redistribute these documents to other persons. If you are abroad, national regulations apply.


Get further:

Pitch Perfect

When you have found a relevant article, use it as a reference and consider:

  • the author
  • the journal name
  • works cited in the article
  • the bibliography
  • works citing the article (cited by)
  • the related articles
  • the subject headings

Can News Articles Be Used as References?

Newspapers and their digital counterparts can be considered primary, secondary, or tertiary sources depending the type of article and reporting. They are acceptable as references in specific cases.

Newspapers are widely cited in research publications as primary sources, especially by historians and social scientists working on past events or the perception and awareness of issues by the public at a given time.

News articles are not subject to peer review, and they are generally not written by experts in an academic or even professional sense. Therefore they should only be used as secondary sources when no equivalent scholarly source is available, and when they pass tests as a trustworthy source.

They are never cited as tertiary sources (reporting on research results for example), as you would rather reference the publications they are reporting on as a source.

Where to search?

  • Nexis Uni
    Explore more than 17,000 news, business, and legal sources..
  • PressReader
    International press and magazines.