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History: Finding Scholarly & Popular Articles

Suggested Library Databases

Library Database Search Tips

How many keywords should you use when searching a database? Find out below:

Video created by the Kimbel Library at Coastal Carolina University. 

Online Scholarly Journal Databases

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar is a discovery tool that helps you find scholarly literature related to your topic.

PROS:

  • Easy to search
  • Shows you the impact of an article (how many times it has been cited by other published articles). 

CONS:

  • Not full text (with some exceptions). Unless the article/book is free to the public, you will be asked to pay to view the full text. NEVER PAY FOR AN ARTICLE/BOOK! Ask a librarian for help in locating a full-text copy for you.
  • Has a limited search scope. You can miss out on other available articles on a topic if you only use Google Scholar.

Scholary Sources VS Popular Sources

Scholarly Sources

Picture of the cover of the American Journal of Psychology, which is blue with some yellow lines.

Popular Sources

Picture of the cover of Psychology Today which is a sheep in glasses.

  • Author: Written by experts (scientists, professors, scholars) in a particular field.
  • Audience: Written for other experts in a particular field.
  • Language: Very technical and scholarly. Not easily understood.
  • Citations: Provide complete and formal citations for sources.
  • Review Process: Often reviewed by a panel of scholars in the field being studied. (Peer-Reviewed)
  • Author: Written by professional writers, journalists, or members of the general public.
  • Audience: Written for the general public.
  • Language: Basic and clear. Easily understood.
  • Citations: Provide informal or no citations for sources.
  • Review Process: Reviewed by an editor or self-published with no formal review process.

REMEMBER: Popular DOES NOT equal bad. Check with your professors to find out which popular sources they accept.

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