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Resources for history coursework and research.

Scholarly vs Popular Articles

Scholarly journals have collections of articles written by experts in academic or professional fields to keep others interested in that field, up-to-date on the most recent research, findings, and news. These articles are reviewed by a journal editorial board or experts in the specific discipline (peer-reviewed).

Popular Sources are articles, blog posts, and news feeds that are written primarily by journalists to inform the general public about interesting and newsworthy events. These articles may or may not be subject to a review process and should be heavily evaluated before use. Popular articles are not peer-reviewed.



 Who is the Author?

 Researchers, Scholars and Professors

 Primarily journalists

 Who is the targeted audience?

 Students, scholars, and researchers

 The general public

 What is the purpose of the article?

 To advance understanding in a field of study

 To inform the public and sell newspapers/magazines

 Are there citations?


 Not often

 Are there ads?


 Most of the time

 Are current events covered?

 No - the peer review process takes time



 The Journal of American History

 National Geographic

Recommended Databases

Looking for historic or current newspapers? 

Finding the Full-Text of an Article

  1. If the full-text of an article is available via the database, there will be a link labeled "PDF Full Text" or "HTML Full Text"
  2. If the full-text is not available via the database, you will see a button labeled "get it MSU" and be redirected to a new page. 
  3. If the article is available via another database, you should see a link 
  4. If the article is not available you have the option to
    • Request it via Interlibrary Loan
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Search for it in Print
    • Ask a librarian for further assistance