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Finding Articles

Articles from journals, magazines, and other publications are normally the most useful resources for a researcher.  However, finding the best articles for your paper or project can be challenging. This guide will help you understand articles and show you how and where to find articles from popular, professional, and scholarly sources(What's the difference?  Look below!)

This guide includes several different pages.  To view one of these pages, select the appropriate tab.  Here's what you will find:

  • How to Find Articles - step-by-step instructions on finding articles from a variety of starting points
  • Power Searching - how to maximize your search strategies and get the best results
  • Special Searches - how to use subject searches and publication searches
  • More About Articles - how to read the citation information, and what to do if the article is not available in full-text

If you're ready to start searching for articles now, the links on the right will take you to DBU's article collections.

Popular and Scholarly Journals





Journalists, staff writers, popular authors (or the author may not be listed)

Researchers and experts


The general public

Researchers and experts


Sources usually not cited

Sources always cited


General interest, news, or entertaining stories

Original research findings, scholarly reports, methodology, and theory


Broad, simple language that anyone can understand

Jargon that assumes expertise in the field


Commercial organizations

Associations or Universities


Glossy paper, many advertisements, heavily illustrated in color

Plain paper, few academic-related ads (or none at all), charts / graphs, some black and white illustrations

Review Policy

Reviewed by editors

Reviewed by peers and experts in the field (editorial boards made of distinguished scholars)


Newsweek, Economist, Psychology Today, Cooking Light

Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Southern History, Journal of Modern Literature, Annual Review of Biochemistry

Articles vs. Books

Good research will rely on books and journal articles, because each medium brings its own strengths to the table.





Narrower – Articles tend to focus on a narrow topic or sub-topic.

Broader – Books cover the broad spectrum; chapters divide the content.


Newer – Content can go from writing to publication within a few months to 1 year.

Older – It takes a long time to write, sell, edit, print, and eventually publish a book: 1 to 3 years.


Database – Articles are found in journals, which are published several times a year.  A database collects articles as they are published and makes them available online.  A database (or the catalog linked to a database) can pinpoint the articles you need.

Catalog – Books are published just once (usually).  The catalog is the searchable list of all the books owned by the library.\