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What makes an article "academic"?
An academic article, also called a scholarly article, is an article written by an expert in an academic or professional field. These articles are intended for other experts and scholars, rather than the general public. There are several ways to determine whether an article is scholarly. While none of these are hard-and-fast rules, they can be useful clues:
- The article is written by researcher(s), professional(s) or other expert(s).
- The article appears in an academic journal rather than a magazine or newspaper.*
- The article is of significant length (usually over five pages).
- The article includes a substantial bibliography or reference list.
- The article is peer reviewed.
- The article presents original research or analysis of a topic.
- The article uses technical or expert-level language.
*It's important to note that academic journals, in addition to articles, also publish editorials, book reviews, film reviews, letters, columns, and other marginalia that are not considered scholarly articles. Make sure you look for some other clues before deciding that you're looking at a scholarly article.
MLA International Bibliography (Ebscohost)
Core index of record for literature, folklore, language, linguistics, with good coverage of additional topics like film, music, and theater. Over 2 million citations to journal articles, books, proceedings, book chapters, and dissertations. dating 1926 to present.
Full, digitized backfiles of important journals in the humanities. Complete, full-text searching, which can often pull up articles missed via other searches, especially of older material. Also particularly useful for finding scholarly book reviews.
Full-text searching of articles from humanities journals, including religion, literature, philosophy, women's studies, film and the arts. Generally covers 1994 to the present, depending on the journal. Also use to find scholarly book reviews.
Humanities International Complete (EBSCOhost)
Full text of hundreds of journals, books and other published sources, plus millions of article and book records from the Humanities International Index (over 2,000 titles and 2 million records). Sometimes useful for a broader search outside the literature and English studies disciplines.
Academic Search Complete
Large interdisciplinary collection with many scholarly journals, but some trade and popular magazines. Use your judgment to determine if what you find is scholarly.
World Shakespeare Bibliography
Citations (not full text) for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, productions, reviews, electronic media, and more related to Shakespeare and published or produced between 1960 and 2011. International scope, with coverage over 120 languages.
Dissertations and Theses (ProQuest)
Authoritative info about doctoral dissertations and master's theses, with more than 600,000 available for immediate free download. Bibliographies and literature review sections of dissertations can be rich and particularly helpful in finding more sources
Communications & Mass Media Complete (EBSCOhost)
Subject focus on Communication Studies that may be particularly useful to researchers in Rhetoric. Also very useful for those looking at issues in the production of television, newspapers, and other forms of mass media. Contains significant full-text.