Articles in Scholarly Journals
Magazines, newspapers, and journals are called periodicals because they are issued on a regular or "periodic" basis (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly). Periodicals can be separated into two groups: popular and scholarly.
Popular Magazines (Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone) can provide useful information, but consider certain characteristics of magazines before using them as a source. Magazines:
Scholarly Journals (Musical Quarterly, Journal of American History) provide in-depth, authoritative information. They are generally published on a monthly or quarterly basis. You should know a few of their general characteristics. Scholarly journals:
If you need to find scholarly information for your paper, choose an academic journal rather than a popular magazine. Journal articles are written by and for scholars and almost always include a list of references or works cited. An editorial board of scholars reviews all articles submitted to a journal (a "peer review"). They decide if the article provides a noteworthy contribution to the discipline (e.g., JAMA, Journal of American History).
Magazines might offer timely information in an easier to understand language and format. An interview in magazine with an expert connected to your topic might not be available in any other publication. Of course, not all magazines are good sources for citation in college coursework. Consider the magazine's purpose and audience. Does the magazine have a serious tone and focus on academic topics? (e.g. Time, National Geographic, Scientific American).
Online academic databases (EBSCOhost, ProQuest, Gale) provide citation information, and often the fulltext of the article, for thousands of periodicals.
Academic databases provide three levels of information:
Note that depending upon the database, abstracts and fulltext content aren't always available.
There are two general types of academic databases. A wide variety of resources, including article databases, are listed: A to Z List of Resources.
General Article Databases cover a wide range of subjects and often index a mixture of popular and scholarly sources. These types of databases are often a good place to begin. Some examples are:
Subject Databases offer collections of articles focused upon a specific subject area. Subject databases include: