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Research Help

Where to Begin? - Journal Articles

When tasked with research and writing assignments, it's sometimes difficult to know where to begin. Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) has an excellent assortment of information on researching and writing papers.


A great place to find information for your research papers is in online databases. Databases provide access to journal and magazine articles from hundreds of publications, often through a subscription service. The library has access to many great databases that can help you with your research.

What Databases Should I Use?

Look for the recommended databases for your area of study in our list of databases! Simply click the link below and choose your subject of interest from the Subject List menu.

What's the Difference?


  • Authors are generally authorities in the field
  • Articles are peer reviewed by experts in the field
  • Sources of information are cited
  • May include graphs and charts but few photos, pictures, and ads
  • Example: New England Journal of Medicine


  • Articles appeal to a general audience
  • Articles written by staff reporters
  • Sources of information not generally cited
  • Eye-catching pictures, colourful design elements and fonts, and many ads are evident
  • Examples: Time, MacLean's, National Geographic

How to Search?

To get relevant results when searching, it's important to first plan what's called a search strategy. This involves:

  • choosing a well-defined topic to research
  • identifying the keywords to use in your search

Learn how to do these and other research skills (e.g. evaluating information, understanding research articles) effectively by completing the tutorials on our Tutorials page.

Trouble Finding Information?

The Library is here to help! Stop by in person or request help online.