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Library Subject Guides

Pacific and Pasifika: Journal Articles


Planning your search for articles

Before you start, think about all the words and concepts around your chosen topic, including synonyms and related concepts. This process will help you:

1. Clarify your topic

2. Break it into parts or themes (and allow you to focus your topic and discard elements)

3. Identify key words to use in your searches

Rule of thumb: Start with a general search and narrow it down. Add one element of your search in at a time, so you can see what effect each change has on the results.

Spelling: Remember that U.S spellings are sometimes different, e.g behaviour, behavior. Read our tips for searching databases to learn more.

Different terminology: Other countries may use different terms, and you will need to search on all variations.

Limiting your search

As a rule of thumb: get your results down to about 100. This is a comfortable number to look through. You will strike many useless articles – this is the peril of keyword searching.

• You can build as big a search stream as you like. Using ‘and’ will decrease the results. Using ‘or’ will increase the results.
Keep adding on terms as you refine the search:
1. Samoa*
2. Samoa* and religion
3. Samoa* and (religion or church)
4. Samoa* and (religion or church) and wom?n

• Most databases have “Limit” functions on the first search page. These enable you to cut down large results by screening out information by date, language, document type, or level of the information. Have a look and see what is there.

Broaden your search

If you initially find only one or two items that look interesting, don't despair!
• Look at the records and at the subject headings / descriptors that are listed. See what terms they have used to describe the content, and add these to your list of keywords to search
• Check other articles written by the same author(s)
• When you find a good article, see if the database has a “find more like this” link to click
• When you find a good article, check the bibliography for other articles that may be relevant. Keep in mind that the articles in the bibliography will be older than the article you have found.

Journals and Journal Articles

The best way to search online journals is through MultiSearch (see the link on the left). 

Also try Index New Zealand which indexes NZ and Pacific information (up to 2024).

If you'd like to browse some recent copies of a few of our Pacific journals, here are some links:

We also have many paper-only journals in the Macmillan Brown Library. Try these keyword searches to get an idea of what we hold: Oceania Periodicals ; Pacific Periodicals

Pacific journals freely available online:



For other Open Access Journals, have a look at the Directory of Open Access Journals.