Research databases are tools for finding the articles you need. They do the following:
The Research Process:
Click on The Research Process for more help!
(Refereed, Peer-Reviewed) Journal Articles
(Popular) Journal Articles
Scholarly articles are "peer-reviewed" by other experts in the field. Are also sometimes called "refereed articles."
|Non-scholarly articles are meant to inform or entertain readers rather than provide in-depth analysis.|
|Content||Content of articles usually reports on original research or experimentation.||Content of articles often reports on other research or events rather than presenting original research.|
|Bibliography||Articles usually list references in footnotes or endnotes.||Articles are seldom footnoted and the source of information is seldom given.|
|Illustrations||Illustrations, if any, are usually graphs and charts that support the subject content.||Often are illustrated with glossy or color photographs.|
|Author(s)||Articles are written by experts in the field.||Authors are usually on the staff of the magazine or are freelance writers. Author's name is often not supplied|
|Length/Depth||Articles are generally long and contain in-depth coverage of the topic.||Articles are often short and intended to provide an overview of a topic rather than an in-depth analysis.|
|Advertising||Contain few if any advertisements.||Usually contain many advertisements.|
|Publisher||Frequently, articles are published by a scholarly professional organization (e.g. American Chemical Society, American Psychological Association).||Publishers are marketing to the general public and usually make their publications available in stores and newsstands.|
|Language||Authors write in the language of their discipline. Readers are assumed to have some knowledge of the field.||Articles are directed towards the general public and written in non-technical language.|
Access tools help locate primary and secondary sources. Some types of access tools are:
|Subject Guides||Online Catalogs|
|Subject Directories||Search Engines|
There are three types of sources used in research: Primary, Secondary and Access Tools.
A primary source is a firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. Primary sources are written or created during the time period being studied, or by a person directly involved in the event. Primary sources offer an inside view of a particular event or time period. Some types of primary sources are:
|Original Documents||Creative Works||Artifacts|
|Meeting Minutes||Visual Art||Clothing|
|Research Data||Performing Arts||Furniture|
A Secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. Secondary sources are one step removed from the primary sources. Some types of secondary sources are: