Finding Journal & Newspaper Articles

Need help choosing which databases to search?

What does our catalog have that our databases don't?

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:

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:

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.

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How do I know when I need an article?

Every project is different, but generally you will want articles when:

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When do I not want articles?

Articles are not always the source of information you want. Don't use articles for:

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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 They may have articles that are fully researched, but often do not cite their sources or present the original data.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.

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When do I want a full-text database?

Sarah Lawrence also has general databases that cover a range of topics. They are of two kinds: citation and full-text.

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.

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How do I pick a database?

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How do I search a database?

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How do I find the article itself now that I have the citation?

Here is the process for finding the journal or newspaper at the Sarah Lawrence Libraries:

  1. Find the name of the journal the article is in; often, databases will call this the source or publication
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Write down the call number and find it on the shelves
  5. If the journal is not listed in the catalog, check our list of online journals
  6. If you get no hits, submit an interlibrary loan request

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