Skip to Main Content

Physical Therapy: A Guide to Library Research

Finding Journal Articles

To do a comprehensive search for articles on topics in physical therapy, you will search in CINAHL Complete and PubMed, which are both linked below, or other versions of Medline, like Medline via UM-Medsearch (linked on the A-Z Database list.  Other helpful databases are also listed in the Overview and A-Z Database List pages of this guide.

If you find an article for which the library does not have the full text, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan. This is a free service, and articles usually arrive electronically within 48 hours. A link to more information is provided below.

What is an Article? What is Peer Review?

Are you confused about what an article is? Or what the difference is between a scholarly article and one from a newspaper or magazine?

A journal is similar to a magazine, but journals are published by universities or professional organizations with specialized interests, like the American Physical Therapy Association. Magazines are published by publishing companies. Articles that are published in academic journals are written by experts in a specific field and then submitted to a panel of other experts who examine the article to see if it holds up to the high standards of academic publishing. This is called peer review. Most academic journals are focused very narrowly and are written for a specific audience, unlike magazines which normally have a broader focus and are published to be read by as many people as possible. Most academic articles will have a bibliography at the end.