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Intro to Research for Graduate Students

To help new graduate students get started with research at the Hunter Libraries.

Where's the full-text

To Find Articles:

  1. From any database use FIND IT to determine the availability of the journal article you are looking for, or, if you are not already within a database, search the Journal Title List or CUNY+ to determine whether Hunter College owns the journal title, volume, and issue you need.
  2. If a journal is available at Hunter College, do not request article via Interlibrary loan
  3. If a journal is unavailable at Hunter College, request article via Interlibrary loan
  4. If a Hunter College journal is missing, request it via ILL with note.
  5. Articles and book chapters are delivered in PDF format.
  6. Include the ISSN number for fastest ILL delivery.

Google Scholar

Many researchers are using Google Scholar to search for sources in their disciplines. Google Scholar is a great resource but does not provide free access to publishers’ content. To access any article you still need to see if the library has a subscription to the journal in which it appeared. To make this easier the Hunter College Libraries participate in Google Scholar’s Library Linking program. This means that when you do a search in Google Scholar you will be able to see what journals you have access to through library subscriptions both electronically and in print.

1  From Google Scholar, click on the Options wheel and choose Scholar Preferences.


2  You will now see the Google Scholar Preferences page. In the Library Links box, type "Hunter College". Then, click the Find Library button.


3  You will now see Hunter College listed under the "Show library access links for..." heading. You have the option of adding up to three different libraries (by repeating Step 2 above). When you are finished adding libraries, make sure the box is checked next to each one. Finally, be sure to click the Save Preferences button at the very bottom of the page.

Now when you do a search in Google Scholar, you will see a link that says Full-text at Hunter if it is available electronically. From off-campus you will be asked to authenticate with your Hunter email account. You will also see a link that says related info at Hunter. This will lead you to information on our print holdings of that journal.


 If you need further help with using Google Scholar, or have any other library questions, find out how to get in touch with us on the Ask-A-Librarian page.

Accessing Databases from Home

All electronic resources available to Hunter students, faculty and staff can be accessed on our Library website from off-campus via our proxy server.

You must have a Hunter email account and only use links to these licensed resources from our Hunter Library website. You will NOT be able to go directly to the site of the resource for access.

For full details, see Access from Home.

Choosing a database

The libraries subscribe to a number of electronic resources or databases which you can use to locate the content of magazines, journals, newspapers, e-books, and statistical information.  The full list of library databases can be found here.

How do you decide which database(s) are the best fit for your needs?  There are many considerations:

  • Subject
    • Psychology, Education, Art, ...
  • Type of information desired
    • Scholarly articles, current news stories, statistics…
  • Availability and format of full-text
    • Full-text online, abstract only, PDF (page images), HTML (text only)...
  • Coverage dates
    • Historical documents, current events, specific years...

For a cross-disciplinary topic like globalization or anti-Americanism, you may need to search in more than one database to find what you need. Keep that in mind! There is no one, magical database that will give you everything you need.

On the library databases page, there are a few tools to help you select your resources.  You can narrow the list down by Subject, by database type (full-text, index, etc.), or you can click on the orange question mark to the right of each database name to read a brief summary of the contents of a given database.  See below.

For example, here is the pop-up that explains what you need to know about the database JSTOR:

The box above tells you a lot about the resource you are about to search, which is why is it wise to take a look. For instance, did you realize that in JSTOR, current journals are not entered into the database for 2-5 years? That means that if you are looking for information on a current topic, or are working in a field where things change rapidly and you need to be on the cutting edge, JSTOR will probably not be the best place for you to search. Why? Because you will be missing out on the most current 2-5 years' worth of information. If that's okay for your research needs, then go ahead and use JSTOR. Just be mindful of what you are searching at any given time.

Even after choosing a database, you can still find out just what publications you are searching by consulting a "help" menu, or an "about" link. Often times, databases will include a "publications" link as well, which will list all the journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. that you will be searching, and the dates covered by each.