Recommended Periodical Databases
The Articles & Full Text feature on the main Library web page allows you to perform simple searches across multiple databases. Because the various databases are structured differently, search results may vary widely. For more precise searching, it's best to search the databases individually. Clicking on the Databases link will display a listing by subject area.
The list of databases below is only a selection. For more options, see the Databases subject listing.
To find articles on specific topics, start with an article database that covers many subject areas. Searches in databases like Academic Search Premier, LexisNexis Academic, ProQuest or Web of Science provide citations and/or full-text articles. When you find an article that is particularly relevant to your topic, note the references in the bibliography and see if Cornell has any of the journals listed.
To find specific articles, you need the citation (author, title, journal, volume, issue, date). Search the Library Catalog by the journal title. If full-text is available electronically, click on the link to the database providing access to the journal. Each database's search function works differently. Generally, once you are in the database, search by article title or author to locate the article.
See the Search Tips page for Articles for additional information about locating articles using library resources.
Mann library created a Tutorial for "Finding a Specific Article from a Specific Journal".
Article Databases & Indexes
For more precise searching, search databases individually. Browse the list of specialized indexes in the Art and Architecture section of the Databases search. Periodical indexes (in databases) identify and locate the articles published in magazines, journals and newspapers. Many databases also index essays, book chapters and monographs.
Some—but not all—databases provide full-text articles. If the database does not provide full-text, but does give you a citation, click on the Get it! Cornell link to see if there is full text access through another database. If that doesn't work, take down the full article ciation. Then, go back to the catalog and search for the title of the journal the article appears in. The catalog will indicate which issues of the journal Cornell holds in both print and electronic forms. The full text of the article may be available through a different database.
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Get it! Cornell
What is "Get it!"?
The Get it! Cornell link connects to the full-text of articles in places like Google Scholar or databases that only have article abstracts. (If you are off campus be sure to be logged in Kerberos with your NetID and password, or use PassKey.)
Sometimes a direct link to full-text is not available on the Get it! Cornell page. In those cases, click the links to search the Library Catalog by ISSN or ISBN (preferred) or by title and determine whether we own or have access to the item, either online through another source or in print.
If the Library does not own or have access to the item you need, use the link on the Get it! Cornell page to request it through Interlibrary Loan or Document Delivery.
Distinquishing scholarly from non-scholarly periodicals
Distinguishing scholarly from non-scholarly periodicals (articles and papers):
Journals and magazines are important sources for up-to-date information in all disciplines. In this guide we have divided periodical literature into four categories:
- Substantive news or general interest
- Scholarly journals generally have a sober, serious look. They often contain many graphs and charts but few glossy pages or exciting pictures.
- Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies.
- Articles are written by a scholar or someone who has done research in the field.
- The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some scholarly background on the part of the reader.
- The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation to make the information available to the rest of the scholarly world.
- Examples of scholarly journals: American Economic Review, Archives of Sexual Behavior, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, Modern Fiction Studies
Substantive news or general interest
- These periodicals may be quite attractive in appearance. Some are in newspaper format. Articles are often heavily illustrated and generally contain photographs.
- News and general interest periodicals sometimes cite sources, a scholar, or a freelance writer.
- The language of these publications is geared to any educated audience. There is no special training assumed, only interest and a certain level of intelligence.
- They are generally published by commercial enterprises or individuals, although some come from professional organizations.
- The main purpose of periodicals in this category is to provide general information to a broad audience of concerned citizens.
- Examples of substantive news or general-interest periodicals: The Economist, National Geographic, The New York Times, Scientific American
- Popular periodicals come in many formats, although they are often somewhat slick and attractive in appearance and have many graphics.
- These publications rarely, if ever, cite sources. Information published in such journals is often second- or third-hand, and the original source is sometimes obscured.
- Articles are usually very short, written in simple language, and designed to meet a minimal education level. There is generally little depth to the content of these articles.
- Articles are written by staff members or freelance writers.
- The main purpose of popular periodicals is to entertain the reader, sell products (their own or their advertisers'), and/or promote a viewpoint.
- Examples of popular periodicals: Ebony, Parents, People, Reader's Digest, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vogue
- Sensational periodicals come in a variety of styles but often use a newspaper format.
- The language is elementary and occasionally inflammatory or sensational. They assume a certain gullibility in their audience.
- The main purpose of sensational magazines seems to be to arouse curiosity and cater to popular superstitions. They often do so with flashy headlines designed to astonish (e.g., "Half-man Half-woman Makes Self Pregnant").
- Examples of sensational periodicals: The Globe, The National Enquirer, The Star, Weekly World News