Periodical Articles

Contents of this module:

Basic information

Periodicals are materials that are published at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, daily, etc.)
Periodical articles contain current information, which is especially important in fields such as science, business, psychology, and technology. Also, subjects too new or too specialized to be covered by books are often covered by magazines, journals, and newspapers.

Types of periodical articles

  • popular magazine - Popular magazines are written for the general public with the purpose of informing and entertaining. Newsweek, Time, and Ebony are examples of popular magazines. Because of their easy reading style, magazines may be a good starting point in understanding a topic.
  • scholarly journal - Scholarly journals typically have articles written by authorities in the field. They may report research or provide a scholarly discussion of a topic. They usually include bibliographies. For most college level papers, you should rely more heavily on articles from scholarly journals.
  • peer-reviewed (refereed) journals - Scholarly journal articles are reviewed by experts on the topic before being accepted for publication. Some scholarly journals do not have a peer review process, but have an editorial board that reviews articles to judge their quality before acceptance for publication. Both peer review and editorial board review are indicators of high quality.
  • newspaper - Newspapers provide accounts of current events and can show trends of public opinion. Older issues of newspapers provide a record of past ideas, problems, and events.


Finding periodical articles on my topic

    • Look in the bibliography of an article or book. - If you already have a good article or book on your topic, the easiest way to find additional articles is to look in the bibliography.

Instruction on interpreting citations in a bibliography

    • Look in an index or research database.
      • -The most efficient way to locate periodical articles on a topic is to use periodical indexes or research databases. Be sure to choose an index or database that covers your topic. 

Determine if the journal is peer-reviewed (refereed)

  • Look in Magazines for Libraries (Ref 016.05 K159m 2004)
  • Look in Ulrich's Periodical Directory to see if it is refereed (REF 016.05 UL7p 2004).
  • Look at the journal's home page This will usually tell you if it is reviewed.

Locating periodical articles

  • Check Journal Holdings List to see if the Castleton Library subscribes to the periodical or to see if it is available online.
  • If the Castleton Library does not provide access to the periodical, you may order a copy through Interlibrary Loan. (Find out about Interlibrary Loan.)

Making copies

Periodicals do not circulate, but you may make a photocopy for 10 cents a page.

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