Periodical articles (magazines, newspapers, trade publications, and scholarly journals) are excellent sources of current and/or specific information for research projects. Often, they are considered primary sources for research.
- Periodical indexes or databases allow you to search for keywords to help you identify relevant articles. All of the databases listed below provide the full text for most of the articles they index.
- For a complete list of available databases, see Find Articles by Subject or Databases A-Z.
- Databases listed below that include this image allow you to limit search results to scholarly journal articles.
Good Databases to Start in:
- Gale Power Search
- Simultaneously access 11 Gale databases to locate magazine articles, trade publications, academic journal articles, news, reference books, Web sites, and multimedia resources. Includes "Viewpoint" (pro/con) essays and topic overviews on controversial issues from Opposing Viewpoints In Context in the "Books" results. To find Editorials, select it from the "Limit by: Document Type" menu and then click Search.
- CQ Researcher
- CQ Researcher full-text reports offer in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. Each 12,000-word report is a unique work, investigated and written by a seasoned journalist, including sections on background and chronology; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources. Note: Since the reports are written by journalists, it is not considered a scholarly journal. Coverage is from 1991 to the present.
- Opposing Viewpoints In Context (Gale)
- Search or browse controversial issues. Features "viewpoint articles" (pro/con arguments), topic overviews, full-text magazine, academic journal, and newspaper articles; primary source documents, statistics, images and podcasts, and links to web sites. Updated daily.
- ProCon.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity that has no government affiliations of any kind. Its mission statement is: "Promoting critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, primarily pro-con format."
Highly Recommended Databases:
- Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost)
- Provides full text for nearly 4,600 periodicals, including more than 3,900 full-text peer-reviewed journals. This database offers information in nearly every area of academic study. Allows limiting search results to peer-reviewed scholarly journals.
- General Reference Center Gold (Gale)
- A general interest database that integrates a variety of sources in one easy-to-use interface. Use General Reference Center Gold to find articles from newspapers, reference books, and periodicals, many with full-text and images. Search specific keywords using the Advanced Search or browse subjects using the Subject Guide.
- LexisNexis Academic
- LexisNexis Academic is a full-text database containing news, legal, biographical, and business information from over 12,000 U.S. and international publications. Enter terms in the main search box to retrieve news, cases, law reviews, and company information relevant to your search. Results can be sorted by date or relevance, and narrowed down by type of source (newspapers, company, legal, subject, geography, etc.) Click on Search the News to directly search newspapers and other sources of news. (Search the News does not allow the use of Boolean (AND, OR, NOT) operators and truncation and searches large groups of the most popular news sources, such as newspapers, broadcast transcripts, and wire services.) Click Search by Content Type and then Advanced Options to search withBoolean operators and truncation and to locate more specific types of news sources. NOTE: Due to publisher restrictions, LexisNexis Academic users may only access the latest 6 months of the Los Angeles Times. Use Proquest Newspapers for complete coverage of the Los Angeles Times online.
- ProQuest Newspapers
- Full text for 500+ U.S. and international news sources. Includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires. Click the More Search Options link from the main search screen to reveal choices for limiting by Document Type, such as editorial, speech, and review.
- Communication and Mass Media Complete (EBSCOhost)
- Indexes and abstracts over 600 journals and trade publications; includes full text for over 240 journals. CMMC incorporates the content of CommSearch (formerly produced by the National Communication Association) and Mass Media Articles Index (formerly produced by Penn State). Subjects covered include communication studies, journalism, mass media, speech, linguistics, communicative disorders, deaf studies, advertising, and related areas of interest to practitioners and educators in these fields. Dates of coverage vary by journal.
- Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest)
- Full text articles from more than 270 ethnic, minority and native press publications, including newspapers, magazines and journals, 1960 to present.
- GenderWatch (ProQuest)
- Contains unique and diverse publications that focus on how gender impacts a broad spectrum of subject areas. With archival material dating back to 1970, GenderWatch is a repository of an important historical perspective on the evolution of both the women's movement and major changes in gender roles.
- Sage Journals Online
- Full text access to journals in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences, including almost 20 communication and media studies journals.
Developing a Search Strategy
- Once you have chosen a topic, write it down in the form of a question or brief statement:
What is the relationship between SAT scores and college success?
- Underline the key words and phrases that are most specific to your topic.
What is the relationship between SAT scores and college success?
- Write down each key word or phrase, and underneath it, list synonyms or related terms.
Use a dictionary or thesaurus to find additional keywords. For example:
- scholastic aptitude test
- Think about the singular, plural, and other endings of words and write down the root of the word.
- scholastic aptitude test
- college, colleges -- college
- university, universities -- universit
- success, successful, succeed -- succe
- achievement, achieve, achiever -- achieve
- Write down your key words and phrases along with their synonyms in the form of a Boolean search statement. Use the root word, and truncate it with an asterisk (*). Note: Different databases use different truncation or wildcard symbols. Check the database's help page. For example:
(SAT or scholastic aptitude test) and (college* or universit*) and (sucee* or achieve*)
Boolean operators are words (or, and, not) used to connect search terms to expand (or) or narrow (and, not) a search within a database to locate relevant information. Boolean operators are also called logical operators or connectors.
It is helpful to diagram the effects of these operators:
women or females
|Or retrieves records that contain any of the search terms. It expands the search. Therefore, use "or" in between terms that have the same meaning (synonyms) or equal value to the search.|
women and media
|And retrieves records that contain all of the search terms. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "and" in between terms that are required to make the search specific.|
image not weight
|Not eliminates records that contain a search term. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "not" in front of a term to ensure that the search will not include that term. Warning: Some databases use "and not" instead of "not." Check the database help screen.|
- Most databases allow for a symbol to be used at the end of a word to retrieve variant endings of that word. This is known as truncation.
- Using truncation will broaden your search. For example,
bank* will retrieve: bank or banks or banking or banker or bankruptcy, etc.
- Databases and Internet search engines use different symbols to truncate. In general, most of the Library's databases use the asterisk (*) ; however, the exclamation point (!) is used in LexisNexis. Check the database help screen to find the correct truncation symbol.
- Be careful using truncation. Truncating after too few letters will retrieve terms that are not relevant. For example:
cat* will also retrieve cataclysm, catacomb, catalepsy, catalog, etc.
It's best to use the boolean operator "or" in these instances (cat or cats).
Check for Full Text Using Find Text
If the article isn't available full text in the database you are searching, click the button to see if we have access to the full text through another database or in print. A new page opens that will have one or more of the following links:
- Full text available via [database name]: Click to access the full-text online. If the link takes you to a publication-level page, you can navigate to the article by first choosing the correct year, then the correct month or volume number, then the issue, and then selecting the article from the displayed table of contents.
- We have this. Check availability in CSU Northridge Catalog: We have the article in print. Click to view the catalog record for the journal or magazine. You'll need to note the call number and then go to the fourth floor to get the article.
- Request document via Interlibrary Loan: We do not have the article online or in print. You can request the article via interlibrary loan (takes approximately ten working days).
For more information, see About Find Text.
Access Databases from Off Campus
Only current CSUN students, faculty and staff can access our databases from off campus. To access the databases from off campus, click the name of the database. You will then see a screen asking you to log in, using your CSUN User ID and password (the same ID and password you use to log in to the portal).