Keeping Current – Accessing Educational Journals

Learning Target: Develop the skills to access journal databases for educational resources
Learning Target: Find educational articles that can meet a current need for your professional learning

Accessing magazines/journals associated with education and research is one of the most important aspects of keeping current with educational trends and strategies. Broad web searches are not enough. One vital skill is accessing a periodical data-base access via libraries. Our task today is to utilize these databases. Providing you one set of directions is difficult because your library access can vary depending on our situation.

Often the library of your school will have access to these periodical databases, even in rural settings. Often access is provided via the school network with no username login required. In this situation, any computer attached to the school network can get access. You need to check with your library coordinator to find out your capabilities.

Another access may be your public/community library. With my library card, I gain access to periodical databases even from home using my library card number and a passcode. In South Dakota, rural areas not associated with a community library can access via the state library. Also, if you are associated with a degree program at a university, you often have access via their library services.

The services I use the most for educational purposes are Ebsco and ProQuest.

A screen displaying periodical database options including Ebsco Megafile

Step 1: establish access to periodical databases via your school or public library.

Once you have established connection, navigate to Ebsco Megafile to access their query page:

A screen with Ebsco Search showing publication name and date of publication

We are going to examine recent articles from ASCD’s Educational Leadership.

In the Publication cell, type Educational Leadership. In the Date of Publication, fill in the month/year for the last six to twelve months. You should get a long list of articles from this query:

A screen displaying Ebsco list of articles from Educational Leadership

Once you access an article you have several options to note:

Ebsco screen displaying the options or tools available with articles

1) Click PDF to view the article (from there you have options to download the PDF to your computer–go ahead and save the article). 2) Note the citation tool. Copy a citation of the article (APA or MLA). 3) Note the permalink option–this give you a URL for getting back to the article. You will want to copy this URL (not the current URL in your browser) and save it with the citation. 4) FYI, note there is also an email option that sends you some of this info.

Now you are ready to complete the assignment!

Side note: you can get some copies of EL articles from the website (they limit the number of articles you can access without becoming a member). It is easy for you to bypass the database activity above, so it is worth explaining that the point for doing this work is twofold: 1) gaining the skills to access journal databases for a whole realm of educational resources beyond EL, and 2) viewing the entire list of articles from the last few months and choosing one that best fits your current need as an educator.