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Academic Research and Writing: Articles

About Articles

There are many different types of articles including trade publication, newspaper, magazine, and scholarly (a.k.a. academic or peer-reviewed), which is the type you will most commonly use need for research assignments. Before the internet, all journals were printed; however, today most journals, including all of those in the NVC Library, are found online in databases. The library subscribes to dozens of article databases, both general and subject-based, which you can access for free by logging in with your student credentials. 

Scholarly Articles

Scholarly (a.k.a. peer-reviewed or academic) articles are found in journals, which publish issues containing new articles at regular periods (this is why they are also referred to as "periodicals").

A list of all the NVC Scholarly Article Databases can be found at:

Some popular, broad databases include:

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article Tool

This video from the Quinebaug Valley Community College Library goes over the "Anatomy of a Scholarly Article" tool from North Carolina State University Libraries.

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

The following video from Carnegie Vincent Library describes the difference between scholarly and popular sources. 

Newspaper Articles

While many news sources can be accessed for free online, there are a variety of sources, often which are of higher quality, that require a subscription.

The Library provides access to thousands of news sources through the following databases:

How to Spot Fake News

Fake news is not new and has long been a major concern for anyone looking for accurate information. Therefore, when conducting research, it is essential to know how to evaluate a source for credibility. This video from provides a quick overview of the key indicators of misinformation in news stories. 

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

Most of your college writing and research assignments will require you to use academic (a.k.a. scholarly) sources instead of popular sources. 

Academic Sources: Popular Sources:
  • Are written by an expert on the subject
  • Are written for scholars and researchers
  • Use language specific to the field
  • Include a list of references 
  • Contain verifiable facts
  • Are peer-reviewed
  • Are often written by a journalist or writer, not an expert
  • Are written for a general audience
  • Use everyday language
  • May not include references 
  • May rely more on opinions instead of facts