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.
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.
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 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.