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How to Use the Library

NEW! Learn how to navigate the Gellert Library's resources

What are Articles?

Scholarly articles are the main medium for academic discourse. Articles published in journals or periodicals are how scholars and experts communicate with each other about what's happening in their field—what new discoveries have been made, who is developing new questions and ideas, and how this emerging knowledge might affect the broader public.

Many scholarly journals only publish articles that are "peer-reviewed," meaning that they have been rigorously reviewed and revised by a team of anonymous experts in the field who vouch for the article's quality. All articles and research projects have their own limitations, but you can trust that a peer-reviewed article in a scholarly journal that you find through an academic database will be at home in your own academic writing.

Journals and periodicals usually go to print several times a year, so they often include more recent information than books (which take longer to publish). This makes journal articles a great source of information for your own research, helping ensure that your own scholarly writing is up-to-date and relevant.

Finding Articles through Databases

Databases give you access to many different types of articles, from those published in scholarly journals to magazines and newspapers. The Gellert Library subscribes to both general databases (which search through publications from many different disciplines) and subject-specific databases (which search journals in specific fields like psychology or education). 

You can start any search for articles by using DISCOVERY on the library's home page. DISCOVERY searches four general databases that collect a broad range of scholarly publications, including journal articles. For in-depth and comprehensive research for relevant journal articles, there are two main approaches you can take.

  • Use the Advanced Search tool to search multiple databases at once. 
    • Review this page for instructions on Advanced Search, including how to select databases for search.
  • Search one subject-specific database at a time.
    • You can choose a database from NDNU's databases by subject list, or from the library's subject guides that recommend databases and other resources according to specific subject areas.
    • Each database has a different interface, with a different look and feel. The default search for most databases is the general keyword search, but you can also search by author, article title journal, name, and subject heading, to name a few. Just use the drop-down menu to select the field. The drop-down boxes menus next to the search boxes allow you to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) for even more control. 

With either strategy, it's a good idea to limit your searches with the following filters: "peer-reviewed," "full-text," and "held by Notre Dame de Namur University." Searches using these filters will only return high-quality publications that you can read in full, immediately. 

Off-Campus Access

To access databases and other electronic resources provided by the NDNU Gellert Library while off-campus, you will need to provide authentication by logging in with your NDNU email credentials. When you select a database or an online resource in the catalog, such as an article or ebook, you will be prompted with a login page. Use your NDNU email username (everything before the "" or "") and password.

Quick Fixes

  • Try a different web browser. Occasionally a resource will not work well with, or without, a specific browser or plug-in.
  • If your browser seems to hang or not do anything after you enter your username and password, try clicking on the reload or refresh button in your browser.
  • Try rebooting your computer. It sounds basic, but sometimes this can fix access issues.
  • If you are on campus, try removing the beginning part of the database URL. This may fix access issues caused by the authentication system. The portion of the URL to remove is:

NDNU Login Information

  • A problem with your NDNU email login information or with the campus network will block your access to Library databases and other electronic resources. If you are unable to login to your NDNU email, contact OIT Help Desk at

Popups, Cookies, & Javascript 

"File missing: docs\suspend.htm" Error Message

  • You have exceeded the amount of data you can download in an hour, 250MB. Wait 60 minutes and try again. The temporary suspension will expire on its own. If you have questions, email

Using Campus VPN

  • For faculty and staff using the NDNU Campus VPN, use of the VPN can cause authentication issues. If the login page does not appear, turn off the VPN, refresh or restart your browser, and try again to access the resource through the library website.