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Student Development: Databases/Articles

This guide includes information on print and electronic library resources, and also provides links to online resources that help support ACC coursework in Student Development.

Finding Articles - Tutorial

Finding Articles - Online Tutorial 

In this tutorial, you will explore the role articles play in research, key features of newspapers, magazines and journals, how library databases can help, and how to locate articles using library databases. This module is designed to take about 10 minutes to complete and includes lots of examples and some interactive practice.

Unsure how to find articles?

Take a look at our online guide, Finding Periodical Articles.

Know How at ACC Libraries



Keywords / Search Strategies

  • time management college

  • college orientation

  • college success

  • goal setting college

  • academic goal setting

  • study skills

Reviewing Journal Articles

The full text for many periodical (journals, magazines, newspaper) articles is available from online databases. In electronic format, it's more difficult to distinguish between magazines and journals. Here are some features to look for when reviewing journal articles in databases:

  • Authors credentials given.
  • Articles are usually longer.
  • Bibliographies or references are listed.
  • Charts and graphs are frequently included.
*Note: Not everything in a journal is considered a "journal article" or a "research article." Journals often include book reviews, editorials, and news updates, etc. that do not qualify.

See the Library Guide: What are Periodicals? - Magazines vs Journals

Journal Article Databases

ACC Libraries have more than 90 journal/magazine article databases. Here are the most useful ones for research on topics for student development. (See a complete list of ACC Library Databases by Subject or by Title)


There are many others. See the Directories of Online Periodicals for more.

Read more about Web Periodicals - guide created by ACC Librarian.

Magazines vs. Journals

How can you tell the difference between types of periodicals?
magazine image
magazine image
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Popular magazines

Trade, industry and professional journals

Journals of commentary and opinion

Scholarly & research journals


Usually a staff writer or journalist. Sometimes the author's name is not provided.

Writers with subject knowledge or practitioners and professionals.

Great variety: specialists, journalists, organizational members, others.

Primarily experts, often university researchers, whose credentials are usually included.


Written for the "average" person who doesn't have in-depth knowledge of a topic.

Multiple levels of readers: general public to practitioners and professionals.

General audience, high school and up.

Aimed at professionals, researchers, scholars, or others with more in-depth knowledge of the topic.


Entertainment, opinion, current topics, quick facts.

Trends, forecasts, news and events in the field; products, book reviews, employment, biography.

Commentary on social and political issues, specific viewpoints, book reviews.

Research, analysis, scholarship. Often includes abstract, research methods, conclusion, bibliography.


Shorter articles providing broad overviews of topics.

Short newsy items to longer, in-depth articles.

Varies:  short, pithy, articles to more in-depth discussion.  An issue may be devoted to a particular topic.

Longer articles providing in-depth analysis of topics.*


Glossy, color pictures, advertisements.

Ads related to the field or profession.  Charts, tables, illustrations.

Varies considerably.  Some have graphics and advertisements.

Dense text, usually with graphs and charts, fewer specialized, advertisements.


Articles are generally evaluated by staff editors rather than experts in the field.

Articles reviewed by editors from professional associations or commercial/trade organizations.

Publications support a particular viewpoint or specific interest group.  Opinionated.

Articles reviewed by a "jury" of experts--"peer-reviewed" or "refereed"—before publication.*


People, Essence, Hispanic, Good Housekeeping, Out, Time, Vogue, Sports Illustrated

RN, Library Journal,  Professional Builder, Contractor Magazine, Restaurant Hospitality

National Review, America, Harper’s, New Republic, Commentary, Progressive, Atlantic

Journal of American History, Nature, Journal of Business, Lancet, Bioscience

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