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Black Studies

Sojourner Truth Library resources for research on Black Studies and related topics

What is an article database?

Library article databases are indexes that allow users to search for articles from various publications and/or periodicals (journals, newspapers, or magazines).

The description of an article found in a database commonly consists of 3 main parts: 

  • Citation - gives the publication information for the article or book chapter including author, title, periodical name, issue, date, and pages numbers.
  • Abstract - A brief summary of an article or book.
  • Full-text – when available, the complete copy of the article.

For example, click on the image below to see a sample article record from a database.

Types of Articles

Commonly, articles found in newspapers, magazines and journals may be of three types, depending on the intended audience and uses for the article:

  • General Interest articles from sources that offer information aimed at the everyday-life needs of the general public.  For example, popular magazines.

  • Professional articles from sources that offer information aimed at the professional needs of people whose work depends on that information.  For example, trade magazines.

  • Scholarly articles, including peer-reviewed, from sources that offer information aimed at the needs of people who are studying and developing knowledge about a subject.  For example, scholarly journals.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

What is Peer-Reviewed?

Scholarly journals published by professional associations or a university press will have a panel of scholars who evaluate articles submitted for publication. In other words, these editorial panels are comprised of the author's peers.

If an article is approved for publication the panel has agreed that the article will advance the thinking within the discipline. Thus, articles accepted for publication would then be considered peer reviewed.