Using FirstSearch to Find Articles

Another database service available to the EMU community is called FirstSearch. FirstSearch provides access to many electronic periodical indexes as well as books and other resources.

The lists of online databases by Subject and Title show you which databases are FirstSearch databases.


Your first decision is to pick the database which will be the best for your topic. You may know the title of a database which will be suitable or you may want to check out the subject list for suggestions.
For this exercise, we'll be looking for journal articles about the environmental impact of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) and we've decided to use "ArticleFirst," a multidisciplinary database.
After selecting "ArticleFirst," the following screen appears:



There are several spaces to enter the search terms you want to search.
You can choose to search for journals EMU Hartzler library owns.
Click on the "Search" button to begin your search.

And this is what the list of records looks like. We retrieved 66 records, and the titles of the articles are hotlinks to the full record.



Just as in Sadie and EBSCOhost, you can limit your search (for example, by date of publication). In FirstSearch, one available option is to limit your search to journals owned by the EMU library. This can be a real time-saver if you are approaching a deadline for your paper and you don't have time to wait for an article to come by interlibrary loan.


Okay, back to the search for records on NAFTA. Let's look at the full record for the second article by clicking on the title.


You have additional information on this screen that wasn't displayed on the list of records.

1. You can see who wrote the article (notice that the author's name is a hotlink so you can retrieve other articles written by this person), and

2. You can also see that EMU does not have this article (if EMU subscribed to the journal, it would say "FirstSearch indicates your institution subscribes to this publication"). But notice the ILL icon above the record. If you click on that icon, you can complete an online form to request this article. You will be notified when the article arrives (usually within just a few days).

There is nothing on the screen to indicate that the full text of this article is available online. So, if you want to read the article, first you must determine if the EMU library has it, and if EMU doesn't have it, you can request it by interlibrary loan.

When you finish a search session in FirstSearch, you must exit. Click on "Exit" on the right side of the screen to end the session.


Some FirstSearch databases require a password. A library staff member or reference assistant can provide the needed information.

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