How do I find newspaper articles online?


There are three fast ways to find newspaper articles online (note: off campus users must log in first!):

  1. Newspaper databases
    Select online databases just include news sources. The easiest ones to use are: Factiva (includes many Canadian, American and International titles) Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies. You could also try Lexis Nexis, but make sure to use the search box labelled “Search the News.”
  2. Individual Newspapers
    You can access many individual newspaper titles online through the catalogue.  Examples include The Globe and Mail, National Post, The London Free Press, The New York Times, and many (many!) more.
  3. Summon
    Summon is the default search on the Beryl Ivey Library homepage and Western Libraries.  It’s set up to not search for newspaper articles by default, since most people are looking for academic articles.
    To look for newspapers, start with typing your keywords into Summon’s search box.
    From the results page, you’ll see a list of limits on the left hand side.  “Newspaper Article” will be crossed out. Click the “X”; when the page reloads, select Newspaper Article as the Content Type
    The results displayed on your screen should all be newspaper articles.  Clicking any of the titles should link you directly to the full text newspaper article.Summon_screenshot_cleverresearcher

What is Summon?


Summon is Western Libraries main search product, and the default search box on the Beryl Ivey Library homepage.  It was introduced to allow students to find all different kinds of resources (i.e. journal articles and books together) in one quick, easy-to-use search, which the Shared Catalogue and searching databases do not.  Traditional database searching, for when you’re looking for journal articles, can also be irritating as they do not exclusively list articles that we have a subscription to.

When you search Summon you are looking at Western’s Shared Library Catalogue content in combination with roughly 90% of our online, full-text journal articles.   Depending on what topic you’re searching, there are a few “citation only” journal articles too, meaning that an abstract might be displayed in Summon, but the full-text article will not be linked there.

Here are my pros and cons for using Summon:

PROS:

  • Easy to use:  if you’ve done any online shopping, Summon’s functioning will seem familiar.  It’s easy to limit your search results (i.e. by format, by library, by date) and to save your favourite articles.
  • Interdisciplinary: almost every program can use Summon as their first step in the research process.  For Brescia’s interdisciplinary programs like Foods and Nutrition, Family Studies, or Community Development, this can save you a lot of time and guesswork in choosing a database.
  • Citation formatting: once you’ve sent items to your “saved” folder you can view them in a variety of popular citation styles, including APA, MLA and Uniform Requirements.
  • It’s easy to find full-text journal articles: many times professors will give you a citation of a journal article to read for class.  It’s much easier to find these readings, as you can type in the name of the article into Summon and often find it on the first try.
  • Full-text articles: while there are some limitations to Summon’s functioning, it is easier to find full-text journal articles over traditional databases.  Usually.

CONS:

  • Missing content: case-law and some business publications are not included in Summon.  This would affect our Criminal Psychology students at Brescia, as well as our MOS students.  Print journal articles are also not included.  So, for almost every student doing a research project, it’s still important to rely on databases to search for journal articles, or else you will likely miss important research.
  • SFX window: the Get it @ Western or SFX window links you between Summon and the full-text of the article – most of the time.  Many students (and myself) have expressed their frustration with this window, as it doesn’t seem to make much sense and often doesn’t work.  There are ways around this issue, which the library can help you with, but it still can be annoying.
  • Too much information? Results not appropriate for your subject?: because Summon is searching every discipline, our online journal articles, and the catalogue, it’s possible that you can get too many results in your search, like when you’re searching Google.  Again, this means that it’s often necessary to use a database when you’re searching for journal articles, as it will narrow your search specifically to your discipline.

There is a lot more I can say about Summon, but the question I was asked was “what is it.”   Overall, I really like this product, you just have to be aware of its limitations.