Database: A searchable electronic catalog that contains information (and sometimes full text) about articles found in periodicals, reference sources, and e-books. FGCU Library has some general, multi-subject databases and some that focus on specific subjects.
Periodical: Any publication issued at regular intervals (periodically). This includes magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and scholarly or peer-reviewed journals.
Journal: A type of periodical. Journals often contain scholarly articles written by experts and are documented with citations and bibliographies (or reference lists).
Peer-reviewed journal: A special type of journal. Peer reviewed (or refereed) journals have been reviewed by a panel of subject experts who scrutinize articles for significance, relevance, sound research design, accurate presentation, and clarity before they are accepted for publication.
Sometimes, your instructor will require that you use scholarly journals or get articles from peer-reviewed journals. Of course, be sure to ask your instructor if you aren’t sure. They’ll be glad you did—and so will you. Here are some resources you might find helpful:
The Wilson G. Bradshaw Library has almost 400 databases with articles from popular and scholarly periodicals.
The following multi-subject databases are good to start with for almost any topic. Watch a 2-minute video on database searching basics if you want some help getting started.
Many times, especially during your first year, general databases will meet most of your research needs. Sometimes, however, you might need to search in more specialized subject databases. Here's what you should know:
Q: Why can’t I just use Google? I already know how to use it.
A: Well, you could. But…
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