Where to Start
Need articles but not sure where to start? We recommend these databases for getting started.
Popular versus Scholarly Articles
When using a general index that has both scholarly and popular articles, choosing options like peer-reviewed, refereed, and scholarly will limit you to scholarly journal results.
Scholarly indexes do not have popular magazines articles. [Reader's Guide, on the other hand, does not have scholarly articles.] Therefore you will be more successful in finding a scholarly work, but you will also need to use a general index to find your popular source.
Generally speaking, it will be easier for you to first find a popular article on a topic and then track down the corresponding scholarly work. Use popular resources that include specific information about the research - names of the researchers, the location the research took place, when the original experiment took place, etc. The more details you can get in the popular article, the easier it will be to find the original, scholarly work.
Sometimes it is hard to tell whether you have a scholarly or a popular article when you are looking at an online full-text article. Here are some clues:
|Journal [scholarly]||Magazine [popular]|
|Content||Detailed report of original research or experiment.||Secondary report or discussion may include personal narrative, opinion, anecdotes.|
||Author's credentials are given, usually a scholar with subject expertise.||Author may or may not be named; often a professional writer; may or may not have subject expertise.|
||Scholars, researchers, students.||General public; the interested non-Specialist.|
||Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires prior knowledge.||Vocabulary in general usage; understandable to most readers.|
||Bibliography Required. All quotes and facts can be verified.||Rare. Scanty, if any, information about sources.|
||Developmental Psychology, Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Almost anything with Journal in the title. Usually come with memberships in scholarly societies and are only available in libraries or by subscription.||Psychology Today, Discover, news magazines. Almost anything available in a store.|