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The library's databases include popular publications like newspapers and magazines and scholarly (academic) and professional journals as well. What's the difference? The audience for a popular publication is the general public. The information may be excellent, and often is in the publications the library subscribes to. In fact, popular science publications often report on the reports and studies published in academic science publications. Check your assignment to see which kind of information sources you are required to use for your assignment.
How can you tell if a source is popular or scholarly? Look at the title and description -- you might have to Google the magazine and check its homepage. Chances are if it is called a journal it is scholarly or professional. If you're still not sure, ask us!
When you search in academic databases including MCC Library OneSearch, keywords give you the best search results. Next time you search, instead of typing in a long phrase such as "all the research that shows evidence to prove there's no life on the moon," try keywords.
A better search about lunar life would use keywords and look like this:
"life on the moon" and research
How to Read a Scholarly Article
You do not have to read every word of a scholarly article--especially at first. Start with the abstract, then scan the introduction. This 5 minute video outlines a strategy for reading scholarly articles.
You might be looking for a specific article that you need to read for class, that another article refers to, or that you found online behind a paywall. This video, and guide (with screenshots) explain how to do that..
How to find peer-reviewed journal articles
In the peer-review process, in addition to a journal's editorial staff reading a submitted article, a panel of the author's peers who work or do research in the same field also read the article to verify that the work meets the standards of that field.
To limit your search results to peer reviewed articles, look for a box to check on the results page. It might be in different locations for different databases:
An example in the search results page: An example on the search box page:
Sometimes when you look at an article there is an indication of whether the journal is peer reviewed, but sometimes you might have to Google the journal -- you can look for "About" or "Submission Guidelines" on an journal's website to see if they use peer review when accepting articles. If you're still not sure, ask a librarian or your professor. We are glad to help!
Content: Abstract, index, full text, full image, text+graphics. Journals, trade publications, magazines, books, newspapers, reports and videos. Dates covered: 1992 to present. Can also be searched via ProQuest Central.
CDC Stacks is a free, digital archive of scientific research and literature produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This repository is retained indefinitely and is available for public health professionals, researchers, as well as the general public. CDC Stacks provides access to current CDC research and literature such as the Open Access Collection. As a fully-featured repository, CDC stacks provides the ability to search the full text of all documents, browse journal articles by public health subjects, and explore the curated collections of documents on relevant topics.
Covers science including acoustics, agriculture & agricultural research, atmospheric science, biochemistry, biology, biotechnology, botany, chemistry, environmental science, geology, marine biology microbiology, physics, earth science, robotics and more. Content: Full text for more than 400 journals. Dates covered: 1994 to present.
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