Identifying Substantive News Articles
This Research Minute discusses how to recognize and find substantive news articles: news about politics, economics, the sciences, the arts, and other topics of current interest.
Welcome to Research Minutes, 90 seconds of research tips for you, the busy student from us, the librarians. In this research minute, we’re looking at how to recognize and find substantive news articles. News about politics, economics, sciences, the arts, and other topics of current interest.
Student: “How are news articles different from scholarly journal articles?”
Librarian: “Substantive news articles share these characteristics: articles typically appear in nationally known newspapers or in publications of nonprofit or professional organizations. A byline, the names of the journalists or writers responsible for the content of the article, is a sign of substantial content. Unlike journal articles, news articles do not have bibliographies. However, they often credit an information source or a research study in the text. The main purpose of these articles is to provide information to a broad audience of concerned citizens or generally educated people. Look for titles like Science News, the New York Times, The Economist, Scientific American or The New Yorker.”
Student: “Where can I find these articles online?”
Librarian: “As with scholarly articles, choosing the right database is key. LexisNexis Academic and Factiva are useful for newspapers. EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier and ProQuest Research Library also index many substantive news articles. Ask a Reference Librarian for more suggestions. Articles in popular magazines such as People, Sports Illustrated, and Vogue are generally not substantive news sources.”
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