Finding Journal & Newspaper ArticlesNeed help choosing which databases to search?
- What does our catalog have that our databases don't?
- How do I know when I need an article?
- When do I not want articles?
- When do I want scholarly material and when popular?
- When do I want a full text database?
- How do I pick a database?
- How do I search a database?
- How do I find the article itself now that I have the citation?
The Sarah Lawrence College catalog contains records for each one of the items that we own. It tells you where each item is located, what it is about, and if it is checked out. It does NOT tell you what is in each item. Use the catalog to find:
- Books that we own
- Titles of journals that we subscribe to
- Newspapers that we subscribe to
Our databases, in contrast, tell you what is in a range of sources, like journals and newspapers. When you search a database, you find out what articles are in the journals and newspapers, but not if we own them. Use our databases to find:
- Chapters in books we may have
- Articles in journals that we may or may not subscribe to
- Newspaper articles that we may have in the collection
When you find the information for an article that you want, go to our catalog to see if we have the item. See our section on finding the article for how to do this.
Back to topics
How do I know when I need an article?
Every project is different, but generally you will want articles when:
- You have already done general reading on your topic area (in textbooks or reference books)
- You have developed a focused thesis
- You decide that your project will require in-depth information such as critiques of pieces or performances, research reports, case studies, or discussions of specific aspects of theories
- An overview of a topic; instead use books in the reference collection or textbooks
- A picture of someone or something; try reference books, Google's Image Search
- A biography of an individual; search the catalog under subject for the person's name
When do I want scholarly material and when popular?
Your project determines what type of material is the most appropriate. Many of our databases contain both scholarly and popular information. For many projects, scholarly material is the most appropriate because you want fully supported, focused research. Scholarly material is generally written for a specialist audience, will contain all citations to the author's sources, and will provide all supporting data.
Some projects, however, may require popular information. Examples of popular literature are glossy magazines (Time, Vogue, Newsweek) and newspapers. They may have articles that are fully researched, but often do not cite their sources or present the original data. You might use popular sources to find out about recent controversies, opinions on events, or, for a historical paper, contemporary reaction to an event.
The databases at Sarah Lawrence can help you discriminate between scholarly and popular sources. Look for an option to search peer reviewed sources only in the database. This will make the database search only scholarly material.
Citation databases have records that give a reference to an article; you then have to find the article in our collection. See our guide to finding journals. Citation databases, generally, are more specific to your field.
Fulltext databases, in contrast, contain the text of the articles themselves. Our fulltext databases tend to cover a wider range of topics in less depth. See our full-text link for those databases that are full-text.
- Each database specializes either in a subject area or a type of information. See our subject guide to Sarah Lawrence Databases for your topic. In general, pick the database that is most specific to your topic.
- Each database is different. See the individual help screens in each database and look for the symbol in our lists of databases. We also offer database consultations for in-depth searching on a topic. Sign up for one today!
Here is the process for finding the journal or newspaper at the Sarah Lawrence Libraries:
- Find the name of the journal the article is in; often, databases will call this the source or publication
- Open the Sarah Lawrence College Library catalog Run a Journal Title (exact) search for the name of the journal, NOT the title of the article
- Find the link to the journal in the results list, click to see the record for the journal and read it carefully to make sure we have the dates that you need
- Write down the call number and find it on the shelves
- If the journal is not listed in the catalog, check our list of online journals
- If you get no hits, submit an interlibrary loan request