North Hall Library


Finding Library Sources & Materials

Topic Starters, Hot Topics & Current Events

Encyclopedias and Pre-research


Articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers

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Confusing Terms: Journals vs Articles

Journals, magazines and newspapers are all made up of individual articles. Generally, if you are just starting your search, you are looking for individual articles on a topic. You do this by looking in a database.

Newspapers contain shorter articles covering very recent news & events. They also cover local news. Think New York Times or Philadelphia Inquirer. The library has specific databases for newspaper articles and we have some newspapers in the library. You may also find newspaper articles in databases like Academic Search Complete.

Magazines contain articles ranging from popular topics to professional or trade information. Magazines frequently contain ads, and the articles in magazines are not considered scholarly.Think Time magazine, People, or Pennsylvania Game News.

In EBSCOhost, they use the term "Periodical" to indicate an article from a magazine.

Scholarly Articles, aka Peer Reviewed Articles or Academic Articles are articles that have been reviewed by scholars before they were published. Think Journal of the American Medical Association, or Journal of Criminal Justice.

If you are looking for Scholarly Articles, you won't find them in a newspaper or magazine. You need to find them in an Academic Journal. Some databases only contain scholarly articles (usually these are in the sciences). Some databases don't contain any scholarly articles (newspaper databases for example). Many databases allow you to limit your results to scholarly articles. If you are in doubt about whether a specific journal or articles is scholarly, ask at the Library Service Desk.