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Occupational Health & Safety: Journals & Databases

Journal locator

What to do when you want to read an article but you cannot locate the full text? Use the citation information you have and follow the steps below to check if the BCIT library has the journal where the article is:

1. In the search box below, enter the title of the journal the article is published in (not the article title). Click search. 


2. If we have the journal, check the date range (make sure it matches the year your article was published in) and click on the appropriate link.

3. Once you are in the journal, locate a search box (it's different for every journal), copy & paste the title of the article. Click search. 


 4. If BCIT does not own the full text, request the article through interlibrary loan 


Databases can be discipline specific (such as CCOHS), or multidisciplinary (such as Academic Search Complete). Many contain full text material, some only the reference and abstract.

  • Use the databases listed on this page to begin your search for scholarly articles.
  • These resources allow you to search multiple journals at once for articles on your topic.
  • Need help using the databases? Watch the training videos below or ask a librarian.
  • If the full-text of the article is not available in the database. Use thebutton, next to the citation/abstract, to locate it.
  • Most databases provide a limiter/filter option for peer-reviewed articles. If not sure - Ask a librarian.

Find more databases by browsing the database list by subject. Health Sciences databases.

Start your research with these recommended databases:

It is a good place to start your research. Library databases provide a more efficient and effective means to access information. Advanced Google Searching tips

See below how to set up Google Scholar settings to find items held by the BCIT Library when you are searching off campus.

  • Click on Settings on the Google Scholar page
  • Click on Library Links in the left hand menu. 
  • Type 'BCIT' in the search box and Tick the checkboxes
  • Then Save

Google Scholar Search         

Be aware that:

  • Results vary in quality
  • Cannot search/sort by discipline
  • Few options to limit or narrow search results
  • Searching is imprecise when compared with discipline-specific databases.

Governments sponsor research, collect statistics, grant patents, enact laws, participate in treaties, and more.  Their publications and websites offer valuable information for researchers.  

Using Google:  Since many government sites are freely available, Google searching can be a useful way to find government sources.   

Google Government Documents Search.  Custom search screen for Canadian government documents. Searches 775 core domains at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

OHS Journals

Journals contain collections of articles and are generally published on a regular basis (e.g. issues are released monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly etc.). They can be found via the Library databases link.

Journals are the primary medium for scholarly communication. They:

  • provide highly focused information
  • can be the source for the latest material on a topic
  • can sometimes be one of the few (or only) sources of scholarly information on a topic

There are different types of of journals. Not all journals are suitable for your assignments.

Types of journal articles


Original research

Original research is a primary resource. These articles often include an introduction, methods, results and discussion sections.

Review articles

Review articles are secondary resources. They provide a comprehensive summary of research on a certain topic and often have an extensive list of references.

Not peer-reviewed


In a scholarly publication, the editorial summarises the contributions in the publication, providing a balance between opinion and synthesis.

Book reviews

Book reviews are written by scholars and provide a summary of a newly published book.

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

A publication in which all articles go through a peer-review process performed by subject experts before being published. You find peer reviewed articles by searching different databases. You can find a selection of databases in this guide.

P.S. When searching for peer reviewed journals from a database, select the "peer reviewed" or "peer reviewed & academic" limiters in the database you are using to ensure that only journals that have a peer reviewed policy for at least one kind of article are returned.

What is the peer-review process more exactly? Watch the video from North Carolina State University to get a clear understanding:

"Scholarly" sources are

  • authored by academics (majority have advanced degrees) for a target audience that is mainly professional or academic researchers,
  • in-depth analysis typically focusing on one discipline or academic field, with the intent to report on or support research needs as well as advance one's knowledge on a topic or theory,
  • published by a recognized professional society/association or an academic press with academic goals and missions.

Most (but not all) scholarly publications are peer reviewed or refereed by external reviewers.



Videos on searching databases