SouthernSearch searches many of our databases, but not all of them. Use the links to databases to find the most relevant resources.
If you do use SouthernSearch, limit your search to peer-reviewed journals by using the options on the left after you receive the initial results.
Journals, magazines, and newspapers are called periodicals because they are published periodically - daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, bimonthly, annually, etc. Some periodicals are in print format, some are on microfilm or microfiche, and many are available electronically on the web or through the library's databases.
Journals are scholarly or academic publications. They contain research articles published by scholars in the field. Most journals are published by professional organizations (Example: American Literature Association) or university presses (Example: Oxford University Press) or learned societies (Example: Modern Language Association). Journal articles are lengthy and contain a bibliography of works consulted by the author(s). If you are asked to find peer-reviewed or refereed articles for your paper you should find articles from journals. Articles from peer-reviewed journals go through an extensive review process where experts from the field review the article to insure the article's quality. Not all journals are peer -reviewed.
How do you know if a journal is peer-reviewed?
Most databases in the library allow you to limit your search to scholarly or peer-reviewed publications. In some databases, the check box for peer-reviewed journals is in the basic search screen as in MLA International Bibliography. In others, it may be in advanced search. In some databases such as Literary Reference Center, the articles are labeled "Academic Journal" "Periodical", "Review", etc.
If you are unsure whether a journal is peer-reviewed or not, check the Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory Database. Ulrich's provides publishing information on periodicals of all types. Journals that are refereed are indicated by a referee's jersey symbol.
You can also determine if a print journal is peer-reviewed by checking information about submission of articles on the journal's website.
Sample journal article:
Culture in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart
This articles is from the JSTOR database, a trusted digital depository of academic journals and scholarly articles from around the world. It has been cited 77 times as of 4/12/2022 according to Google Scholar. From searching the relevant library databases (MLA, Digital Dissertations) we know the author's dissertation was on Shakespeare and she has authored a few articles as well. She was affiliated with an educational institution, Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. This article was published in African Studies Review, a refereed journal from the Cambridge University Press (information gathered from Ulrich's Periodicals Directory Database). The bibliography at the end of the article lists books written by Achebe scholars and articles published in reputed journals. This is a valuable, scholarly, peer-reviewed article that can definitely be used in a college essay.
Magazines are written for the general reader. Magazine articles are much shorter than journal articles and are written by a freelancer or a journalist and are not in-depth like journal articles. They usually do not contain a bibliography. They are good sources of current information and contain news and opinions rather than critical analysis or commentaries. Because they are written for the layperson, magazine articles are not researched or documented to the same extent as journal articles.
Sample Magazine Article:
Why Chinua Achebe Mattered to Us All
This article is from the Academic Search Premier database, one of the leading databases for college research. It was published in "New African", a consumer magazine which contains general, political and financial news reports, commentaries, and features on social and cultural affairs. The author, Cameron Duodu, is a novelist from Ghana who studied in the UK. He has worked as a freelance journalist for some of the best newspapers, the Gurardian, the Observer, and Financial Times.There is no list of references as this article is an opinion article, not a research article. The focus is on the author's personal experiences with the politics of the publishing industry, the anit-Biafran reporting in British newspapers, and how racism thwarted the efforts of some African writers. The author lauds Achebe for his breakthrough in the publishing industry which helped to open the doors for other African writers. Aside from the acknowledgement of this major contribution, and a few photographs, the article does not have much information on Achebe and the title is somewhat misleading. Although this is a good magazine article from a legitimate source, it may not have the information you need for your paper. It is always a good idea to read the abstract of the article to see whether it is relevant to your research. Most databases provide a brief summary of the article.
Newspapers, like magazines, are meant for the general reader. The articles are written by an editor or news reporter and contain articles about current events, editorials, feature stories, informative articles, editorials, book reviews, obituaries, advertising, etc. While newspaper articles can be interesting, they should not be used for scholarly research. For certain topics it may be necessary to research newspaper articles. For example, if you were looking for ephemera about the civil war period, or women's speeches or writings from the suffragette movement you may need to research newspapers of that time period. But for a literary essay on "Things Fall Apart", a newspaper is not considered a good source.
Sample Newspaper Article:
The White Man's Faith: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
This is an article from the New York Times, a reputed news source, and was written by Selden Rodman, a graduate of Yale University, a prolific writer and folk art advocate. The article is a review of Achebe's Things Fall Apart. We learn about the character flaws in Okonkwo and his son and the influence Christianity had on Nigerian natives during British imperialism. Although well-written, it is not a research article; there are no external links or references; it gives very little information about the book. Further research needs to be done in order to understand the themes and characters.
To find book reviews and news about authors and their works, search the following databases:
Enter your username and password to access the interlibrary loan forms.
Select "Journal Articles" under New Request on the left hand side and fill out the details of your request. Then click submit.
Most often the article will be emailed to you. If the article cannot be emailed it will be photocopied and mailed to you. You will be notified if a request cannot be fulfilled.
There is no charge for interlibrary loan.
All print journals are shelved in alphabetical order by title on the ground floor
IT printers on the first floor allow you to scan books or documents. There is a printer located by the IT Help Desk and another near the reference stacks. Scanning to your email is free. Copying and printing is 5 cents for a single side black and white page and 8 cents for a double-side page. Color printing is 25 cents for a single page and 40 cents for a double-side page. Assistance with scanning using the IT printers is provided by the IT Help Desk on the first floor.
Journals on microfilm or microfiche are shelved in the Microforms Area. Most of the readers are also printers. Ask for assistance in the Technical Services area.