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Researching Ethnic and Cultural Groups in Los Angeles: Find Articles

Periodicals Overview

Periodicals (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.

  • It's a good idea to formulate a search strategy before using a periodical database.
  • The following databases use Boolean Logic (AND, OR, NOT) and truncation/wildcards symbols (*, ?, etc.) for combining keywords and phrases to locate articles on specific topics.
  • For a complete list of available databases, see Databases A-Z.
  • While searching a database, if you do not see a link to the full text article, click the Find Text button to display a menu with links to either the online full text article in another database, the location within the Library for the print version of the periodical, or to fill out a form to request the article via the Interlibrary Loan service.
  • FYI, you can also connect to the Library's databases and full-text periodicals from off campus.

Databases for Locating Magazine and Newspaper Articles

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998
A digital archive of more than 270 African American newspapers published in the 19th and 20th centuries.
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.
General OneFile (Gale)
From arts and the humanities to social sciences, science and technology, this database meets research needs across all academic disciplines. Access over 9,000 scholarly journals, and general interest news magazines and newspapers - over half contain full text and images. Search specific keywords using the Advanced Search or browse subjects using the Subject Guide. Coverage is from 1980 to the present.
Hispanic American Newspapers
Digital archive of Spanish-language and some bilingual Spanish-English newspapers printed in the U.S. 1808-1980. Based on the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project.
LexisNexis Academic About LexisNexis
LexisNexis Academic is a full-text database containing news, legal, biographical, and business information. Click on the Easy Search tab or News from the toolbar to search newspapers and other sources of news. Then, select the sources that are relevant for your research, such as "Major World Publications" or "News, All (English Full-Text)." Specialized news categories of interest include: "non-English language news," "web blogs," "news transcripts" (radio and television news broadcasts, political campaigns), and specific news sources (business, legal, university, and healthcare). Click Legal to search law reviews, federal and state laws, and court cases; click Business to search company information and other related sources; and click People for biographical information. Dates of coverage in LexisNexis vary by publication.
Los Angeles Times, 1985 - present and Los Angeles Times Historical, 1886 - 1985
For researching local communities, newspapers can be an invaluable source. Also searchable within Proquest Newspapers.
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 Daily News, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires. Click the Publications tab to select individual newspaper titles to browse by date or search by keyword. 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.

Databases for Locating Scholarly Journal Articles

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. 
Anthropology Plus (FirstSearch)
Combines two resources: Anthropological Literature indexes 1,000 anthropology and archaeology journals and monographic series held in the Tozzer Library, Harvard University.
DATES COVERED: late 19th century to the present from 1993 - present. Anthropological Index from The Royal Anthropological Institute, 2001- present.
Developed by the American Anthropological Association (AAA), AnthroSource brings 100 years of AAA journals online to scholars and the public.
Black Studies Center
Includes 3 resources, the Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience which contains commissioned essays detailing the Black Experience and other related materials; and the International Index to Black Periodicals which indexes scholarly and popular Black Studies journals, including full text for many titles; and full text of The Chicago Defender from 1935-1975, an influential black newspaper.
Chicano Database (FirstSearch)
Indexes all types of material on Mexican-American topics and about Chicanos. Records added since 1992 have expanded its scope to include the broader Latino experience, including Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and Central American immigrants. Extensive coverage from the 1960s to the present; selective coverage dating back to the early 1900s.
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 journalism, mass media, communication studies, 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. A list of journal titles covered by CMMC is available.
eHRAF World Cultures
eHRAF World Cultures is produced by Human Relations Area Files, Inc. (HRAF) at Yale University. eHRAF is a cross-cultural database that contains over 350,000 pages of information on all aspects of cultural and social life for about 100 cultures. The annually-growing eHRAF database is unique in that the information is organized into cultures and ethnic groups and the full-text sources are subject-indexed at the paragraph level. There are over 300 cultures included in the print and microfiche copies of the Human Relations Area Files. The cultures covered in the microfiche collection as well as on the web are described at Human Relations Area Files--Cultures Covered. CSUN's microfiche collection is located on the 4th floor, East wing. There is a white binder at the Reference Desk in the Oviatt Library which lists the cultures available in microfiche or on the web.
Film & Television Literature Index (EBSCOHost)
Indexes over 350 U.S. and international film and television periodicals, including popular magazines, scholarly journals, and trade publications. In addition, selected content is chosen from thousands of additional publications that contain relevant content. Dates of coverage vary.
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.
General OneFile (Gale)
From arts and the humanities to social sciences, science and technology, this database meets research needs across all academic disciplines. Access over 9,000 scholarly journals, and general interest news magazines and newspapers - over half contain full text and images. Search specific keywords using the Advanced Search or browse subjects using the Subject Guide. Coverage is from 1980 to the present. Allows limiting search results to scholarly journals ("peer-reviewed publications").
HAPI Online: Hispanic American Periodicals Index
Indexes more than 500 key social science and humanities journals published throughout the world. Many of the citations are linked to full text. Coverage: 500 journals. Time-span: 1970 - present.
Index to Jewish Periodicals
Indexes English-language articles, book reviews, and feature stories in more than 160 journals devoted to contemporary Jewish and Middle Eastern affairs. Coverage from 1988 to present.
JStor provides electronic access to the full text of back issues of core journals in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Includes 12 classical studies journals, which is good for classical rhetoric research, and other journals of interest to communication studies researchers.
Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (CSA)
LLBA covers all aspects of the study of language including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Complete coverage is also given to various fields of linguistics including descriptive, historical, comparative, theoretical and geographical linguistics. In addition, major areas of coverage include interpersonal behavior and communication, nonverbal communication, semiotics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics. Over 1,200 periodicals and serials are covered since 1973.
Project MUSE
Project Muse includes full-text scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences, including journals in film, theatre, and performing arts; classics, language, and music. A list of the journals covered by Project MUSE is available.
PsycARTICLES, from the American Psychological Association (APA), is a definitive source of full-text, peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in psychology. The PsycARTICLES database covers general psychology as well as specialized, applied, clinical and theoretical research. The database contains more than 100,000 articles from 59 journals - 48 published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and 11 from allied organizations. It includes all journal articles, letters to the editor, and errata from each journal. Coverage spans 1894 to present, and most APA journals are available from Volume 1, Issue 1.
PsycINFO or Psychological Abstracts, from the American Psychological Association (APA), contains nearly 2.3 million citations and summaries of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, all in psychology and related disciplines, dating as far back as the 1800s. Ninety-seven percent of the covered material is peer-reviewed. Journal coverage, which spans 1887 to present, includes international material selected from approximately 2,050 periodicals in more than 25 languages.
Sage Journals Online
Full text access to journals in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences, including almost 20 communication and media studies journals.
Sociological Abstracts (CSA)
Sociological Abstracts abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences from 1963 to present. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,700 serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers. Records added after 1974 contain in-depth and non-evaluative abstracts of journal articles.

Spanish Language Journalism

Locating Periodicals

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).

For more information, see Accessing Library Resources from Off-Campus and the Library's Copyright Statement (in particular, the Appropriate Use of Oviatt Library's Electronic Resources section).

Boolean Operators

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:

Or Relationship diagram

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.

And Relationship diagram

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.

Not Relationship diagram

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.

Check for Full Text Using Find Text

If the article isn't available full text in the database you are searching, click the Find Text 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.

Developing a Search Strategy

  1. 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?
  2. Underline the key words and phrases that are most specific to your topic.
    What is the relationship between SAT scores and college success?
  3. 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


    • university


    • achievement
  4. Think about the singular, plural, and other endings of words and write down the root of the word.
    • SAT
    • scholastic aptitude test
    • college, colleges -- college
    • university, universities -- universit
    • success, successful, succeed -- succe
    • achievement, achieve, achiever -- achieve
  5. 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*)


  • 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).