Skip to Main Content

Addiction Studies

Video Tutorial


Start at 37 seconds for how to use the guide and instruction on using the database Academic Search Complete.

Start watching at 4:30 to learn how to search Google Scholar and how to request free copies of articles you can't access or read online for free.

Library Databases: Addiction Studies

Library Database Search Tips

Click the box for FULL TEXT to get whole articles only.

Click the box for SCHOLARLY JOURNAL  or  PEER-REVIEWED to limit your results to scholarly articles. *not always an option, such as JSTOR, which only has scholarly content.

Library Database Usernames/Passwords are what you use to log on to a school computer
Example - Username: Password: Your student ID #, unless you've changed it to something else.

NEED HELP - check here

InterLibrary Loan

If you find an article that sounds interesting but the library database does not have a full text version you can order one for free. You should never pay money for articles when you are enrolled at SFCC. 

Types of Research Articles

Not all scholarly articles are the same. In fact, there are several different types of scholarly/academic articles. Two types that you may see more frequently are empirical or primary research articles and review articles.


*Important Note for Treatment Theories in Addiction Studies*

Most of the articles you find will likely fall under the empirical/primary research article type. That means the article will look at original research, examining specific disorders, populations, locations, experiments, etc. in relation to a specific research question/hypothesis. Therefore, it will not give you overall summaries about gestalt, alderian, or existential therapy in relation to addiction in general. Instead, it will focus on how it is applied in a specific study and will focus more on the study itself, how it was conducted and their conclusions. A review article is more likely to give a "big picture" perspective but may be more difficult to locate. You can use both types of articles for your assignment but it's important to know how each type of article works, so you can appropriately use it for your assignment. Hence, your instructor's directions to "...keep your search criteria general to get enough results from which to choose." See the descriptions below for more details and examples of these types of articles. 


Empirical/Primary Research Articles

An empirical study is one that aims to gain new knowledge on a topic through direct or indirect observation and research. These include quantitative or qualitative data and analysis. They are written by the scientists who performed the experiments - these articles include original research data. For this reason, they are considered primary articles. In science, an empirical article will often include the following sections:  Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion.

Hint: Look in the title or abstract for words like study, research, measure, subjects, data, effects, survey, or statistical which might indicate empirical research.

Example: Successful herbivore attack due to metabolic diversion of a plant chemical defense
  • The authors are reporting on an experiment they conducted themselves
  • The article includes a Methods, Results, and Discussion section
  • The article includes tables and graphs of data collected by the authors

Review Articles

These are articles that collect and analyze primary research on a particular topic from other scientists. These are useful when you want to get an idea of a body of research that you are not yet familiar with. Review articles summarize the findings of others studies or experiments and attempt to identify trends or draw broader conclusions.

Hint: Look for the word 'review' in the title, abstract, introduction, or subject terms

Although review articles are not primary research, they can be very helpful. They can give you a sense of the conversation happening among scientists and scholars on your topic. They also will lead you to many primary research articles. Look at the references!

Example: Plant Defense against Insect Herbivores 
  • The second to last paragraph of the articles says that it is a 'review' and discusses the purpose of the review
  • The article does not include a Methods, Results, or Discussion section
  • The article has an extensive list of references

 For more information about other types of scholarly articles visit: