University Library


Winter 2018 / Tucker 115

W&L Research -- Periodicals and Article Databases

How can you find out which periodicals to which we have direct access?

  • Consult the A-Z Journal List on the library home page.  (Please note that this option is mislabeled; the list includes more than journals.)

Scholarly/academic/Peer-Reviewed Journals

Most scholarly/academic journal articles are consistenty structured, as in these two examples: A Double Standard for Hooking Up and It's Dude Time. Note that the first article includes a clearly-labeled literature review, while the second has no such labeling.


If you need to determine whether or not a given periodical (journal or magazine) is a "scholarly" or "academic" resource, you can search for information on that periodical in the Ulrichsweb directory.
Here, "Content Type" may be described as "Academic / Scholarly" and the status of the journal as "Refereed" (or peer-reviewed) may be indicated by this charming icon:  Refereed


An example of a journal rating system based on citation analysis from Google Scholar -- Google Scholar Metrics.


So desirable are academic journals as publishing opportunities for scholarly researchers that there is a small industry devoted to bogus journals.   Until recently, a researcher at the University of Denver maintained a list of predatory journals that offer to publish articles for a hefty fee.

Paying for Quality

Part of the reason that academic libraries are so focused on academic journals is their pricing.

Coming Attractions

Preliminary versions of articles which might end up published in academic journals often appear as working papers or conference papers.  Example of a conference paper found in a database search: 

Collections of working papers are available from some scholarly associations and academic institutions.   Examples:


In the era of the Internet and the hyperactive news cycle, some academic researchers are feeling pressured to "go public" quickly -- maybe too quickly.  Fascinating article:  Politics Moves Fast. Peer Review Moves Slow. What’s A Political Scientist To Do?

Increasingly, scholarly researchers are turning to online sites to get their work in the public eye.   One example is The Conversation.

Searching Backward and Forward

Some databases of academic journal articles now let you see not only the sources cited in an article, but also the sources that have (later) cited that article.

Probably the best tool for tracing subsequent citations is Google Scholar, with this example.

Academic/Scholarly Journal Articles

These are "article databases" which specialize in in-depth coverage of a particular discipline or subject area, with an emphasis on scholarly and/or professional journal articles, although other types of materials are mentioned -- books, essays, reports and papers, dissertations and theses, Web sites, etc.   Important article databases are collected in the library's Subject and Course Guides area.

Listed below are some of the most important specialized databases for journalism/ mass communications/strategic communications students.

The library's new Primo database includes the ability to find articles in academic journals, newspapers, and magazines, but (a) there is reason to doubt that it contains everything found in our individual databases and (b) the results from searches tend to be overwhelming and unfocused.