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Library Research Tutorial

How to Search the UCF Libraries' Databases

If you want to find articles, whether from a magazine, newspaper, or a journal, you will need to use the UCF Libraries' Articles & Databases. The Flash video below will show you how to search the database Academic Search Premier to find journal articles.

From the video you will learn:

  • How to access the UCF Libraries' Articles & Databases
  • How to choose the appropriate database to search
  • How to log in from off-campus
  • How to access and search Academic Search Premier
  • How to get articles full text online

This 5 minute video contains audio. Once you are done with the video expand the other sections to learn about scholarly resources.

Scholarly vs. Popular Articles

Your instructor will sometimes tell you to find articles in a scholarly or an academic journal. Those are two names for peer-reviewed or refereed journals. Peer-reviewed journals contain original research articles which have been reviewed by experts in the field who judge the article on many criteria including quality of writing, validity of research and findings, and the relevance of the research. All articles will include of list of sources used.

Some examples of scholarly journals

  • Educational Research Quarterly
  • Journal of the American Medical Association
  • William and Mary Quarterly

Popular sources do not publish research articles, although many might summarize research findings or publish investigative articles. Articles from popular magazines are on a wide range of topics and do not go through any review process other than the publication's editor. Usually popular articles do not include reference lists of sources used or in text citations.

Some examples of popular sources:

  • Newsweek
  • Rolling Stone
  • Time

Your research will be helped immensely if you use articles from peer-reviewed journals. Think of it this way. If you fell and broke your arm and could not get to a doctor, would you rather use information you found in the Journal of the American Medical Association or Time Magazine to mend your broken arm?

How to Search for Scholarly Articles

So how do you find these academic journals? If you are using Academic Search Premier then the easiest way is to check the box marked "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" on the databases search page.

Screenshot of a Peer Review form

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Last updated August 24, 2012 2:57:25 PM

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