Journal articles will probably be one of the most important information sources that you will use when doing research for classes at TU. The most recent research in almost every discipline is published in journals. Such articles are regarded as being very trustworthy and authoritative, not only because they are usually written by the researchers themselves, but also because they go through a process called peer review.
Peer review means that before the article is accepted for publication in the journal it is carefully reviewed or screened by a panel of experts in the field (the author's peers). These experts examine the article carefully, making certain that the research was properly done, that the methodology was sound, and that the author's conclusions were based on the results of the research. Only after the experts determine that the research is good and properly done will the article be published. As a researcher, this gives you confidence that information in the article is reliable.
A journal article is thus fundamentally different from an article published in a newspaper, magazine or website. To learn more, check out our information on popular vs. scholarly.
The library has access to a number of journals in full-text online, however, sometimes there is a print copy instead of an electronic copy. If you can't find the article you're looking for in full-text through our databases, try checking our journal titles list to see if we have it in print.
Your results should look like this:
We only own this journal electronically from August 1994 - present, but the journal list shows that we own some of this journal in print. If you click on the print (or microform) link, you can see that we own May 1994 - February 1997 on microfiche:
What is a library database?
A library database, such as Academic Search Complete is an organized collection of electronic information that allows a student to search for articles in a variety of ways (e.g., keyword, subject, author, title). Library databases contain thousands to millions of records or articles. The library purchases subscriptions to these databases (similar to purchasing a subscription to a magazine or newspaper).
These databases will help you find articles for your research paper on American culture and/or history:
Or, you can search our database list.
Remember to be careful when using search engines like Google. Google has a lot of great sources, but it has just as many sources that are unreliable. Anybody can post anything on the internet, but that doesn't mean they are an expert in the field or that their articles on a topic are backed by research.