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The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library

U.S. History: Progressive Era Group Project: Secondary Sources: Journal Articles

Secondary Sources: Journal Articles

Journal articles may also be secondary sources.

  • Scholarly journal articles are written by scholars for scholars and present a new interpretation or thesis based upon a synthesis of primary sources, scholarly journal articles, and other secondary sources. Note: Scientific studies published in academic journals are considered primary source material.
  • Many are also peer-reviewed; in other words, they must be approved by other scholars in the field before publication..
  • Scholarly journal articles generally have a bibliography of materials for further study, including primary sources, journal articles, and books.
  • Look for journal article references in the bibliographies and/or notes in your secondary source books / ebooks and other journal articles. 


Resource Allows NoodleTools Export means you can export the citation for this source to NoodleTools.

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General Search Tips for Online Subscription Databases

  • Limit results to Full Text.
    • Make sure that all the results are items you can access by limiting results to Full Text results only. Databases often include a mix of full text items and abstracts/synopses of items. Selecting Full Text helps prevent frustration.

  • Look for search terms in article titles
    • ​Database searches generally default to keyword. Using the drop-down list to the right of the search bar, look for titledocument title, or comparable term such as newspaper Headline.

  • Use Filters.
    • Look for filters / limiters on your results page, such as Subject and Source types. This will help ensure you get only the results that you want and will make sure you don't have to wade through as many results.

    • Look especially for:

      • Source types: xxxxxxx

      • Lexile levels of about xxxxxxx.

  • Use AND / OR operators (also known as Boolean operators).
    • Use AND in your search when there are words that all need to be in your search results.

    • Use OR when there are two words that can be used interchangeably, but at least one of them needs to be present in your results.

    • Use NOT when you want to exclude a word from your search.

    • Examples:

      • coronavirus OR COVID-19 (All articles containing either coronavirus or covid-19.)

      • coronavirus OR COVID-19 AND Spain (Articles about the virus in Spain only.)

      • coronavirus OR COVID-19 NOT United States (Articles about the virus anywhere but the United States.)

    • Examples II:

      • Muhammad Ali OR Cassius Clay (All articles about Muhammad Ali, including those before he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.)

      • Muhammad Ali OR Cassius Clay AND Vietnam (Articles about Ali and his Vietnam protest activity)

      • Muhammad Ali OR Cassius Clay NOT Vietnam (Articles about Ali not relating to his Vietnam protest activity)