FINDING PERIODICALS (Journal and Magazine Articles)
and Working with Online Databases

1. What is the Periodical Holdings List (PHL), and how do I use it?

The PHL alphabetically lists all the journals and magazines available at the Cuesta Library, whether in print or on microform. There is a subject index as well. However, it does not include all the journals available electronically in EBSCOhost or SIRS. Check these databases for full text availability of other titles, or ask the librarian on duty at the Reference desk for assistance. Access the Title PHL at: or the Subject PHL at: http:www.cuesta/edu/library/documents/phl_subject.pdf.

2. Where are the periodicals located?

Back issues for periodicals at the San Luis campus library are located at the east wall, directly opposite from where you enter the Library.
Why can't I check out a magazine or journal? Magazines are fragile, and we only have one copy of each issue. You can copy the pages you need on photocopiers in the library. Copies are ten cents per page.

3. What subjects do the databases cover? I

If you go to, there is a list of every database we have at Cuesta... EBSCOhost is the largest, most general-use database. SIRS is good for social issues like euthanasia or capital punishment. ProQuest National Newspaper Index (NNI is helpful for national or international topics, since it includes the full text of 5 major newspapers. NewsBank indexes the SLO Tribune, which makes it valuable when researching local issues.

4. How can I tell which journals are available in a database?

In EBSCOHost, when you choose your database there is a titles list. In SIRS, hold the mouse on "Educators' Resources" at the top of the search page, then click on "more". At the bottom of the page, under "Library Support" there is a Directory of Publications..

5. What are "peer-reviewed" articles?

They are articles that have been read by other specialists in the same field. The term is used to indicate that before the articles were published in the journal, they were submitted to a panel of experts. In the eyes of the experts, the information meets the panel's standards of scholarship.

6. How can I find "peer-reviewed" articles?

EBSCOhost allows you to click on a "Peer Reviewed" only option when searching. However, if you are not sure if an article is from a peer-reviewed source you can ask the librarian on duty at the Reference desk, or look at the "Magazine vs. Journal" chart at

7. How do I cite articles from online databases? That information is found in the MLA Handbook (Reference LB 2369 .G53 2009) and the Publication Manual of the APA (Reference BF 76.7 .P83 2001), available in the Reference book area. You can get handouts for MLA style at the Reference Desk, or you can print or refer to copies of the MLA handouts located at

8. How do I access library databases at home?

The best way to access the library's databases from remote locations is from the library channel in myCuesta. Go to myCuesta at and login then look for the library channel on the Resources tab. For faculty the library channel is on the Faculty tab.

If you are off campus and try to access one of the databases directly from the library's web site you will be redirected to the myCuesta login page. Again, after logging into myCuesta you can access the library's databases from the library channel.

9. Having difficulty accessing a database?

There are several possible causes for this problem. The most probable cause is that your computer or web browser has a popup blocker/killer installed. This could be a setting in your web browser or a separate piece of software, designed to get rid of all the ads that pop up in new windows when you try to connect to a web site.

If you have a popup blocker/killer enabled, you will be unable to connect to any of the library databases. However, you can either temporarily disable the popup blocker/killer, or with many of them you can specify that you want popups allowed from the library web site only.

A couple other things you might try include:
Clear your browser cache (under options or preferences in your browser).
Check to see if the database loaded in a window hidden behind the login window.