Islam and Muslim Americans

Using the Library's Databases

Finding Articles in the Databases

The databases listed below are just a few that can help you find journal, magazine, and newspaper articles that are often not freely available through the internet.

Source Types - how do they differ and how do you decide?

Comparing Source Types

Scholarly or popular? What is the difference? Why pick one over the other? And when? The research process is full of questions, but we're here to help! Use the tabs in this box to read more about these different types of sources and what they might be useful for. Then, move on to the rest of the guide to see how you can search for such sources.

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photo of newspapers

Newspapers

These articles are good both for finding recent information on a topic (what has happened in the last week or month) as well as finding out how historical events were reported in the past (for example, how was the AIDS crisis first reported in the 1980s?)

Appearance: 
  • Generally printed on newsprint in black ink.
Audience:
  • Written for the general public.
Author/Authority:
  • Articles written by staff writers and freelance journalists.
Citations:
  • Will sometimes cite sources, a scholar, or a freelance writer.
Content:
  • Includes current events and special features.
Frequency:
  • Usually published daily or weekly.

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photo of some popular magazine coversPopular Magazines

These articles are good for summarizing information on a topic for the general public.  They often provide a background, summarize research findings, and provide some analysis of a topic.

Appearance:
  • Generally attractive and illustrated with color photographs.
Audience:
  • Written for the general public.
Author/Authority:
  • Articles written by staff or freelance writer.
Content:
  • Includes current events and special features.
Frequency:
  • Usually published weekly or monthly.

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photo of trade journals

Trade Journals

*Sometimes called Professional Journals or Industry Journals

These articles are good to keep people in a particular field of work or trade (veterinarians, police officers, hotel managers, teachers, librarians, advertisers...etc.) up-to-date on trends in their line of work.  Articles often summarize and analyze findings from scholarly research.

Appearance: 
  • Generally attractive and are often illustrated with color photographs
Audience:
  • Written for industry professionals.
Author/Authority:
  • Articles written by staff writers, though the magazine may sometimes accept articles from industry professionals.
Citations:
  • Occasionally list references at the end of the article or provide footnotes within the text.
Content:
  • Includes current events and special features within a particular profession or industry.
Frequency:
  • Usually published biweekly or monthly.      

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a photo of some print journals

Scholarly journals

*Sometimes called Scholarly, Academic, Peer-reviewed or Refereed

These articles are good to find results of scientific or academic research.  They are written for scholars and provide in-depth analysis of a very specific area of your topic 

Appearance: 
  • Generally have a sober, serious look. May contain graphs and charts, but few glossy pages or photographs. Use scholarly language with vocabulary specific to their profession or field. May often have headings in article such as "literature review" "methods" "results" and "discussion." 
Audience:
  • Written for academics and professionals.
Author/Authority:
  • Articles written by researchers or scholars in the field who report the results of original research.
Citations:
  • Articles include footnotes and a list of citations at the end of the article.
Content:
  • Includes scholarly research for a particular profession or industry.
Frequency:
  • Usually published bimonthly or quarterly.

Images: All images in this tabbed box were taken by GRC librarians