Links to the databases in this guide will take you to a landing page. To get to the database, click on the Database Title, right next to the little lock.
Don't panic! If you are off-campus, try installing the Reload Button and refreshing your page. Click on the Troubleshooting Access tab for more details.
|What do they look like?||Who writes them and where are they published?||What can I use them for?||Where can I find them?|
|Scholarly sources||A peer-reviewed research article; a book published by an academic press||Written by scholars, published in academic journals||Use research articles and data to guide your research and inform your argument||Academic databases are your best bet. Start with Academic Search Ultimate or Google Scholar. Use the Database Finder to browse our full database collection.|
|Popular sources||Newspaper and magazine articles; podcasts; documentaries||Depends on the source; journalists, can be published in newspapers, magazines, websites, etc.||Popular sources offer perspectives that are often absent from scholarly research. Opinion pieces can demonstrate personal experience and newspapers often disseminate information before scholarly journals. Popular sources also tend to be easier to read, so they are a great way to build your background knowledge. Popular sources will also cover contemporary or unfolding issues that haven't made it to the scholarly press yet.||Ditch the paywall. Use NexisUni or another library databases to access to newspaper and magazine articles|
|Government sources||Government reports; data sets||Government officials or researchers, published on government websites or databases||Use government publications and data to guide your research and inform your argument||Government websites or government databases, like PubMed or ERIC. Check out our guide to U.S. Government Information at UMD for more info.|
Encyclopedias (including Wikipedia); dictionaries
|Typically, various authors write entries that are compiled by an editor, typically published in databases or print books||Build your background knowledge. Reference sources are not typically cited in your bibliographies, they are used in the very beginning stages of your research. Some reference sources are better than others. Wikipedia is a great tool for exploring a topic, but we don't know who wrote the content or what their credibility looks like. Once you get further into your research, stick to a reputable reference database like CQ Researcher or Opposing Viewpoints.||Browse the UMD Libraries' reference database collection|
Article? Journal? Periodical? Database? Use our glossary to break it down.
Scholarly article - A description of the findings of a particular study. Scholarly articles are usually published in academic journals, range 15-30 pages, and are written by one or more scholars. AKA: academic article, scholarly source
Journal - A publication focused around a specific discipline or area of study. Released a several times a year (quarterly, biannually) and contains several research articles. Scholarly articles are published in academic journals.
Periodical - Just a fancy term for a publication that is issued regularly. Academic journals are considered periodicals, but popular sources can also be periodicals, like newspapers or magazines.
Database - A tool that indexes large collections allowing the user to search through countless scholarly articles and the journals where they were published. Databases are not just a library tool, but academic databases index the scholarly journals and their articles so that you can search and find the perfect source for your research.
Searching in academic databases looks a little different than searching in Google. You can't just type in your full research question. The key is to break up your research question into keywords or phrases (shoot for under 4 words per keyterm).
EBSCO (includes Academic Search Ultimate)
|Where to find subject terms||When you click on an article title, subject terms and author-supplied keywords (if available) are on the article description page.||When you click on the article title, navigate to the Abstract/Details tab to see subject terms|
|What does it look like|
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