WR121 Hickman Spring 2021: Finding articles

Published articles

Most academic research includes extensive use of published articles.  These might include articles from general interest magazines, newspapers, or specialized academic/peer-reviewed journals.  You can find these kinds of sources using Google, but searching that way can be inefficient because published articles will be mixed in with all the rest of the stuff (good and bad) that Google will serve up. Remember that the better and more serious the source, the more likely it will be available only to subscribers.  This means your Googling will bring you up against a paywall.  Instead of Google for these kinds of sources, try a library database!

In Academic Search Premier:

For Reliable (but not peer-reviewed) sources: Under Source Types check the "Magazines" "News" and "Trade Publications" boxes. Your results will be from reliable publications, and will be more understandable than many scholarly articles.

For Scholarly (aka "Peer Reviewed) sources: Check only the "Academic Journals" box. (If you have done the reliable first, be sure to uncheck Magazines, News and Trade Publications.)

The library also subscribes to a lot of other databases with different articles.  If you're exploring a topic related to a particular discipline (for example, the environment, women's/gender issues, business, health), remember that we might have a database related to that broad topic.  Some examples include:

All of the library databases can be accessed using the "Databases" link on the library homepage.  These are available from off-campus with your MyPCC login information.

Types of Articles

There are many different types of articles. The chart below can help you figure out which type(s) you're looking for or identify an article you've already found:

Decorative image of a newspaper News articles provide the most current information. Certain newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, are also known for thoughtful, in-depth analysis of important topics and events.
Decorative image of a magazine cover Popular magazine articles can help you generate ideas about issues, controversies, or unanswered questions about a topic, which you might want to explore further. They sometimes refer to studies or scholarly work that you can track down for more information.
Decorative image of a trade magazine cover Trade publications are written by and for professionals within an industry. These are an excellent source of very specific information from inside the field.
Decorative image of a scholarly journal cover Scholarly journal articles go through a process of peer review before they are published. They are written by experts in the field (the people with letters after their name!) and their purpose is to advance the ongoing body of work within the discipline. These articles might present original research data and findings, or take a position on a key question within the field. They can be difficult to read, because their intended audience is other experts and academics, but they are at the top of the line when it comes to authoritative information.

Evaluating Sources