What is a Database?
Research databases are online tools used to search for articles on your topic. Databases allow you to search for articles by keyword across a wide range of journals/newspapers/magazines at one time. Most library databases contain citations, abstracts, or full-text journal articles from thousands of magazines, journals, newspapers, historical documents, and other literary works.
Many (but not all) of the articles listed in the databases are available in full-text format. Full-text means the entire text of the article is available online. You can read, print, or email the article directly from the computer. If you find an article we do not have full-text, we can get it for you through Interlibrary Loan.
--Academic Search Complete, PsycArticles, Social Science Full-Text, Social Work Abstracts
Scholarly academic journals (such as Journal of Advanced Nursing or Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, for example) usually include longer articles, providing in-depth analysis of topics, and are written by professors or other experts in the field. The credentials and scholarly affiliations of the author(s) are usually listed.
Scholarly journal articles are often divided into standard sections such as abstract, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, and bibliography (works cited). For scholarly journals, articles are peer-reviewed or critically examined and evaluated prior to publishing by a group of scholars or editors who are experts in their field.
Popular magazines (such as Newsweek or Sports Illustrated) are usually written by staff journalists, who write articles of varying format and structure in language meant for a general audience. Popular magazines tend to include advertising and color pictures rather than scholarly charts and graphs.
To find scholarly/peer-reviewed journals, try searching Academic Search Complete which is one of the library's general topic databases with many full-text articles. This database also provides a limiting function to find only peer-reviewed articles from scholarly journals. On the search page, check off the box labeled "Scholarly (Peer-reviewed) Journals".
The journals list can be searched by journal title to find out whether a particular journal is available at McKillop Library either in print and/or online. If a journal is available online, this list will tell you which library database(s) contains the full-text and for which years we have the full-text available.
If the full article is not available in our resources, then you can use interlibrary loan to request the article.
Search for journal titles:
To access databases, ebooks, or other library resources from off-campus, you will be asked to enter the following information:
These are some popular article sources:
When evaluating an article for use in a research paper, one important distinction is whether the article comes from a scholarly peer-reviewed journal or from a popular magazine.
For an explanation on the differences between these two types of periodicals, check out this video:
(Source: Ronald Williams Library, NEIU. YouTube.)