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Research Help Guide: What are Articles & Databases?

What are Articles and Journals? (Video)

From NEIU Ronald Williams Library (Closed Captions)

What are Article Databases? (Video)

From NEIU Ronald Williams Library (Closed Captioned)

Getting Research Help

Book an Appointment

Get lengthier and more specialized research help with our book an appointment service.

Visit our Research Help Desk

Visit the Research Help Desk on the main floor of the Library for help.

Research and Citation Help

Learn how to conduct research and cite your sources with these helpful guides and videos

Attend a Workshop

Workshops are scheduled throughout the term.

 

Quick Summary: What are Articles and Databases?

Articlesdecorative

Articles appear in magazines, newspapers, and journals. Scholarly articles appear in academic journals and they are written by researchers, professors and other experts.

Databases

Database are collection of different articles and are owned by companies like ProQuest or EBSCO.  There are subject specific databases that allow you to search through millions of scholarly and popular articles in your subject area, thus making your life easier!

 

More Information:

Databases and Articles (In Depth)

decorativeFind articles

Scholarly (peer reviewed) and Popular Sources

Evaluate your Sources

Databases and Articles (In Depth)

What are “articles”?

Articles appear in magazines, newspapers, and journals. Scholarly articles appear in journals and they are written by researchers, professors and other experts.

 

They contain:

  • Expert knowledge

  • Are double checked for accuracy

  • Have good research methods

  • Focus on a specific topic/issue

We recommend researching using articles because they represent the type of research and writing you should be aiming for in your own assignments.

You might also find an article that disagrees with your argument. Incorporating “dissenting” sources into your paper and debating their merit with your other supporting sources is exactly what scholarship is about. Scholarly writing is a conversation and a debate between your ideas and your sources.

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 Remember that accuracy and quality of information matters

 

What are "databases"?

A database is an organized collection of information. Computer databases with web interfaces allow users to easily find the content that they are looking for. Netflix is a database of streaming video; Amazon is a database of consumer goods; subject specific library databases are collections of scholarly articles, ebooks, and more.

 

Infographic on how database hierarchy is similar to Netflix Hierarchy. Explanation below graphic in a Word document below.

Why are databases awesome?


Library databases allow you to search through millions of scholarly and popular articles, making your life easier. They let you:

  • Read full text of articles in PDF or HTML (just look for the “Full Text Link” or the “GET IT” link).

  • Narrow your results to only “peer reviewed”

  • Email the article to yourself

  • Show you how to cite your article in APA (or another citation style you need)

Here’s an example from our ProQuest Database:

 Proquest search

What are Trade Journals

Trade journals focus on one industry and provide in-depth information on trends, new products and other topics of interest to people working in that industry. The articles are, therefore, written by and for working professionals. 

Trade journals usually have a review process like an editorial board but are not considered to be "peer reviewed" journals.  

When to use Trade Journals:
  • to find current information and news on products and trends within a specific trade or industry
  • to learn more about the field from practitioners within that industry
Finding Trade Journals at Ryerson University Library: