Find journal articles in databases
In addition to databases listed below a full list of databases available through the library are listed in Databases A to Z and other subject specific databases can be found under Subject Guides.
Library Search Engine - Basics tutorial (short video)
Library Search Engine - Advanced Techniques tutorial (short video)
How to search for articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers
Searching for articles:
You can search the library's database for articles HERE
- Before you start your search always be sure to check the box in the right hand column to "Limit to articles from peer-reviewed journals
- If you are supposed to be using scholarly peer reviewed journals you would also take one more step. Under "Format" select "Academic Journals"
- Now you are ready to enter your search terms in the main search bar
Some entries have full text via the database.
For others, click on to gain access or request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.
Find Specific Articles or Browse Specific Journals
When you search the library's website or one of the databases below you are searching hundreds of different journals for articles that match the search terms you have chosen to use.
However, sometimes you may wish to find a specific article, or browse a specific journal. You can do this using Journal and Article Finder.
Search For and Browse a Journal
To search for a specific Journal simply type in the title, a keyword from the title, the ISSN, or ISBN into the search box and Search.
Your results should look something like this
You will notice that there are multiple links to access one journal, that is because we have access to this journal through multiple databases. What you need to pay attention to are the dates preceding the links. These dates indicate coverage. So for example if you you wanted to browse current issues of PMLA shown above you would want to click on the for "Modern Language Association Journals," which covers 2002 to the present. If you wanted to browse older issues you would instead click the link for "JSTOR Early Journal Content" which covers 1889-1922.
After decide which link you want to click based on the coverage dates you will be taken to a page that looks something like this.
Typically, there will be years which you can expand or minimize and then individual volumes and issues which you can then click on and view the individual articles in a given issue or volume of a journal.
Finding an Article using DOI
Most scientific articles have a digital object identifier (DOI), you can copy the DOI into the search bar and quickly search for that specific article.
More information about DOIs
Finding an Article WITHOUT a DOI
Many humanities articles do not have DOIs so you will need to search using the title of the article.
First identify the title of the article.
Then copy and past that title into the search bar which you will see on all pages of the library's website. Make sure to select either the more general search "Articles & More" OR the more specific "Article Title"
The article you are looking for should appear as one of the top results if we have access to it.
However, if we do not have it digitally you can search to see if other libraries have access to it and request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). To do this, go the to right hand side of the screen under "Refine Results," and UNCHECK the box for "exclude articles at other libraries."
This will allow you to see articles which we do not have immediate access to, but which you can request through ILL. If you see the article you are looking for click the "Find It" button.
Then click "Request this item through interlibrary loan."
Login using the login you use for everything at Villanova, fill out any missing required fields in the form you will see and then hit "Submit"
Identifying Scholarly Journals
How can you tell if a journal article is scholarly?
There are several ways to tell. Some database search engines (like EBSCOs) allow you to limit your searches to peer reviewed results by checking a box. Another way is to look at who publishes the journal; often, journals are published by a university press like Johns Hopkins, Duke, or Oxford. If so, the journal and articles in it are scholarly and peer reviewed. Another way to decide is to look at the frontmatter in each journal issue (in print or on the journal website). Often journals will have editorial policies and submission guidelines that tell you whether or not a journal is scholarly.
How are scholarly journal articles different from regular articles?
Scholarly articles always go through a process of blind submission and peer review. This means that all articles are judged solely on the quality of content and are published only if other experts in a given field decide that the article contributes something worthwhile. If you are reading an article in a peer-reviewed journal, you can be assured that it's already been looked at by multiple experts, most of whom are established scholars.
Is there a way to tell which journals are better than others?
There are several options you have. You can search the journal title inWorldCat and see how many libraries worldwide access it. The more libraries that access it, the more likely the journal is important. Other journals advertise their impact factor, which is a measure of how often the journal is cited. Otherwise, ask your professors which journals they think are most important.
What are the features of scholarly journal articles?
- Often directed toward a narrow audience that has specific research interests.
- Always have information cited in text or in footnotes.
- Provide extensive bibliographies and overviews of existing research.
Remember, scholarly journal articles are just one of many kinds of articles out there. If you still have questions, ask a librarian or your professor.
These resources are especially useful if you find yourself searching for things on sites not accessed through the library.
The Web vs. Library Databases – A comparison
A guide to understanding and evaluating the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly resources
Is it Scholarly? Tips for critically evaluating your information resources.
Types of Scholarly Sources
Primary sources of information are original materials that often convey new ideas, discoveries, or information. These sources originate from the time period under study. Examples of primary sources include:
- original research studies (often in the form of journal articles in peer-reviewed publications), also called empirical studies (e.g. psychology)
- patents, technical reports
- original documents such as diaries, letters, emails, manuscripts, lab data/notes
- newspaper articles from the time period under study
- autobiographies, first-person accounts, case studies
- artifacts and archival material such as official documents, minutes recorded by government agencies and organizations, photographs, coins, fossils, natural specimens
- works of art such as literature, music, architecture, or painting
Secondary sources of information are based on primary sources. They are generally written at a later date and provide some discussion, analysis, or interpretation of the original primary source. Examples of secondary sources include:
- review articles or analyses of research studies about the same topic (also often in peer-reviewed publications)
- biographies, reviews, or critiques of an author
- analyses of original documents or archival material
Tertiary sources of information are based on a collection of primary and secondary sources.
These are sources that index, abstract, organize, compile, or digest other sources. Some reference materials and textbooks are considered tertiary sources when their chief purpose is to list, summarize or simply repackage ideas or other information. Tertiary sources are usually not credited to a particular author.
- textbooks (sometimes considered as secondary sources)
- dictionaries and encyclopedias
- manuals, guidebooks, directories, almanacs
- indexes and bibliographies
TIP: What is considered primary, secondary, or tertiary information may vary according to your field of study. When in doubt, ask your professor.
Scholarly Journals Databases
Provides citations to journal articles, books, book chapters, and dissertations on all aspects of literature, language and linguistics, literary theory and criticism, dramatic arts, and folklore. International in scope; coverage from 1926 to the present. Includes access to the MLA Directory of Periodicals.
Film & Television Literature Index (EBSCO)
Indexes academic journals, popular magazines, and books in the fields of film and television. Includes abstracts for scholarly journal articles. Topics range from film & television theory to preservation & restoration, writing, production, cinematography, and technical aspects. Coverage goes back to the early 20th century and includes foreign language publications.
Provides a full text archive of academic journals and books in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics. The most recent three to five years of a journal are usually not included.
Literature Criticism Online (Gale)
Provides compilations of literary criticism. Includes the complete runs of Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Drama Criticism, Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800, Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Poetry Criticism, Shakespearean Criticism, Short Story Criticism, and Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism.
One Literature (ProQuest)
Features a digital library of English and American poetry, drama, and prose. Provides access to literary criticism indexed in ABELL and MLA International Bibliography and includes selective access to the full text of academic journals. Also includes full text access to a collection of dictionaries, encyclopedias, and biographical dictionaries.
Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line
Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line is the electronic journal of JASNA. It is published each December 16 and made freely accessible as part of JASNA’s outreach mission. All prior numbers will be maintained here indefinitely.
Provides full-text access to books and journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.