Answered By: Elizabeth Galoozis
Last Updated: Nov 17, 2017     Views: 25726

In assignments, or on the library website, you’ve probably seen the three words “article,” “journal,” and “database.” How do they relate to each other, and how do they relate to searching for sources?


When you type something into the search box on the libraries’ home page, you’re searching across several databases, including the libraries’ catalog of books, e-books, films, and other materials, as well as individual databases the libraries subscribe to - for example, JSTOR, or ProQuest Research Library. Each database is a collection of sources - which may include books, films, government documents, articles, and lots of other types of sources. You can search for specific databases using the “Databases” search on the libraries’ home page.


One of the most common types of sources is a journal. This word may be used interchangeably in some places with periodical or serial, but basically a journal is a publication that comes out in issues on a regular basis - for example, four times a year. An example is Feminist Economics:

An issue of a journal contains individual articles. These are probably what you’re used to finding when you search for sources in the libraries or online, but you usually find them detached from their particular journal issue.

A good research strategy can be to look for other articles in the same journal as an article you’ve already found.

You can search for specific journals using the “Journals” search on the libraries’ home page.

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