Health Studies: Articles

Scholarly? Professional? Popular?

The first thing you should do when you have a research assignment is figure out what types of article sources are required or allowed. Some professors require you to use only scholarly peer-reviewed journals while others might let you use a variety of journals.

Scholarly article - also known as peer-reviewed, academic, or refereed, these articles are written for researchers and experts and usually contain the results of a research study. Scholarly articles are written by experts in the field and are reviewed by peers who are experts in the same area. In many databases, you can limit your search to scholarly, peer-reviewed or refereed journals to weed out any non-scholarly content.  For specific advice about finding and using scholarly articles, please see the Peer-Reviewed Articles tab.

Professional/trade article - written for people working in a specific field. Articles can be written by experts in the field or by staff writers. The articles are only reviewed by journal editors, so they go through a less rigorous review process. 

Popular journals - written for a general audience rather than for professionals or scholars and written by journalists. Examples include The New YorkerPeople, and Rolling Stone.

Databases: Finding articles

Find Articles with Google Scholar

Before searching, be sure to set PCC as your library in your browser by:

  1. Visiting the link to set "Library Links" settings for Google Scholar
  2. using the search box to search for "Portland Community College",
  3. checking the check box that appears underneath the search to select “Portland Community College – Find it @ PCC”, 
  4. and then selecting the Save button.

This will ensure that when you search Google Scholar in your browser, you will see Find It @ PCC links to full text if we have the article (Google Scholar sometimes also provides links to other free sources for full text).

You can learn more about setting Google Scholar preferences on the PCC Library Website

Video: What are Library Databases and Why do you Need Them?

Database search tips

  • search tip: put "quotation marks" around phrases, ex. "control group".
  • search tip: use an asterisk* to find various endings of a word root, ex. addict* will find addict, addicts, addiction, addicted, addictive.
  • search tip: look for the "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" box. Select it to find peer reviewed articles on your topic.

Search words

What do I type in the search box? Matching your interests to an article can be tricky, so it's worth taking a moment to consider what words to use in a search. To prompt your thinking, imagine the title of the perfect article that would be of interest to you. What main ideas are included? Use a combination of the key concepts and phrases in a search to browse relevant articles. 

Example search phrases:

cardiovascular health AND men AND aging
masculinity AND stereotypes AND advertising
gender differences AND life expectancy AND cancer
race AND health AND men