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LB 432 - Scientific Virtue  

Dr. Robert T. Pennock, 432-7701,
Last Updated: Sep 9, 2011 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

Article Research Print Page

Articles - the basics

Articles contain the most current information published in a field of study. The Library Catalog contains the titles to all of the print and electronic format journals that we subscribe to.  The Catalog does not list the articles within the journals.  The specific articles can be found in article databases.

Most professors and researchers prefer articles that are "scholarly" in nature.  Characteristics of scholarly journals are that they have the following qualities:

The articles contain original research (such as scientific experiments, surveys and research studies)
A list of references or sources is provided at the end of each article
An editorial board, composed of experts in the field, reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted; this is also known as "refereed," "peer-reviewed," "professional," or "academic".
Uses a specialized vocabulary for that field.
Contain few if any advertisements. If included, they are highly specialized and specific to scholarly discipline (i.e. specific laboratory equipment, medical tools and drugs).

At first glance it can be difficult to tell if a journal or article is popular information or is scholarly enough to cite in your research paper.  Here are two guides that can help you make the distinction.

Popular vs. Scholarly Periodicals

Research and Scholarly Journal Information - limiting your search results to find only scholarly articles in specific indexes

If you are still uncertain about the scholarly nature of a journal, you all look up the title or ISSN in the periodical database Ulrichs Periodical Directory (UlrichsWeb).  This database will tell you about the journal including the nature, it's audience, and in which databases it is indexed and abstracted. 

Citation Search -

If you have a citation to an article, the easiest way to locate the article is to look up the title of the journal in the Catalog.  Identify whether we own the journal and its format, print or electronic.  If in electronic format, do we have that year/volume? If yes, you can click on the link provided to go directly to the online articles and find the one you need. 
If it is not online, do we have it in print?  If yes, identify the call number and go to the stacks to find the proper volume and issue. 
If we do not own the journal or issue, you can request the article through Interlibrary Services.

Article Databases

  • History of Science, Technology, & Medicine
    This database covers all aspects of the history of science, technology, and medicine. Includes international material selected from periodicals since 1975. It reflects the influences of these fields on society and culture from prehistory to the present. Includes records of journal articles, conference proceedings, books, dissertations, serials, maps and other materials.
  • Web of Science
    Includes the Institute for Scientific Information Citation Indexes - Arts and Humanities, Social Science, and Science. It indexes science, social sciences, and arts and humanities information from nearly 9,300 of the most prestigious, high impact research journals in the world.
  • Scientific American Archive Online
    Scientific American contains authoritative articles on all sciences by the scientists who do the research reported. Edited for the interested lay person. Features science and the citizen and reviews of current books in scientific fields.
  • ProQuest Research Library
    ProQuest Research Library contains over 2,000 periodicals (nearly 1,000 of them in ASCII full-text or full-image formats) in a wide range of subject areas. In addition to general interest publications, ProQuest Research Library covers titles in the following areas: Arts, Business, Children, Education, General Interest, Health, Humanities, International, Law, Military, Multicultural, Psychology, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Women's Interests.
  • CQ Researcher, 1923-present
    This web file provides 48 reports a year on current, hot, and controversial topics such as "Embryo Research," "Rethinking Ritalin," "Drinking on Campus," and "Subsidized Access to the Internet for the Poor." Among the file's beauties are its balanced introductions to these issues; others include its generous selection of cross references to past reports, excellent tables and graphs, and clear instructions on how to cite the resource. A full text product.
  • PubMED
    The National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. Contains bibliographic citations with author abstracts (since 1975) from over 3,800 international biomedical journals published in the US and 70 other countries.
  • Social Sciences Abstracts
    Covers some 350 core periodicals in the fields of anthropology, economics, geography, law and criminology, political science, social work, sociology, and international relations.
  • International Bibliography of Social Sciences
    International Bibliography of Social Science indexes the information contained in over 2,600 social sciences journals and 6,000 books each year. The comprehensive coverage provided in the database, while based on the core disciplines of anthropology, economics, political science and sociology, also reflects the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of the social sciences. Coverage includes both core and specialized material from over 100 countrie
  • Philosopher's Index
    Indexing and abstracts for books and journals in philosophy and related interdisciplinary fields.
  • Poiesis (Philosophy Online Serials)
    Poiesis (Philosophy Online Serials) includes dozens of journals (full text and searchable) published by philosophical societies, departments, university presses and commercial publishers from several countries. Full text access is restricted to those journals for which the Libraries has a subscription.

Suzanne Teghtmeyer

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Suzi Teghtmeyer
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Requesting Articles

If you need an article that is not fully available through the MSU Library online databases or in print, there are two ways you can try to receive the article.

ArticleReach Direct
ArticleReach Direct is the quicker of the two options. It is a consortium of international academic libraries. Members have created a combined catalog of their journal collections. Authorized users from each library may request articles from other member libraries' journals by requesting them online in the ArticleReach Direct Catalog or through their home libraries' electronic indexes.  For detailed instruction on how to search for a journal and place a request, consult the Guide: How do I find ArticleReach Direct Articles?.  For the best accuracy, you may want to identify the journals ISSN number to insure you are requesting the correct journal.  You can identify the ISSN using the our online catalog (if we have some holdings), WorldCat or Ulrich's Periodical Directory.

ILLIAD is the traditional Interlibrary loan system for articles, books, government documents, and other materials not held at MSU Libraries.  For questions about ILLIAD and placing requests, please consult the ILLIAD FAQs. First-time requestors will need to register and create a password, about a 1-2 minute process, following which you can begin immediately to place requests.


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