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AN SCI 101: Introduction to Animal Sciences (Fall 2020) : Getting Started

This guide provides library and research information for Fall 2019 AN SCI 101 students.

Finding Popular Sources

What are popular articles?

When doing research on a topic, it is important to use reliable sources of information. Often we use scholarly articles, which present research and information directly from the source. However, we can also use reliable popular articles to find good information on a topic. Popular articles can be found in general interest publications like newspaper and magazines. While they are not scholarly, popular articles from respected publications can provide excellent background information as well as stories, opinion pieces, images, and more personal points of view on a topic. These can help bring life and interest to your research project. We can start with a search engine like Google, but you may encounter paywalls. Knowing how to find popular articles using a library database will help you avoid these paywalls.

Finding Popular Articles in UW-Libraries Databases

Using a newspaper database

  1. From the UW-Madison Libraries homepage, select the red “Catalog” button on the left side of the page. This will open a drop-down menu.
  2. Select “Databases” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select “Browse by Subject”.
  4. On the right-hand side of the page, select “Newspapers” under “By Type”.
  5. Select “Newspaper Source Plus”.
  6. Select “View Online.”
  7. Type your keywords into the search boxes and click “Search”.
  8. You can limit your search to types of newspapers, such as United States or international, under “Source Types” in the left bar.
  9. Click on an article title to read the full article, or click the “Find It” button to find the full text.

Using Academic Search

  1. From the UW-Madison Libraries homepage, click the red “Catalog” button on the left side of the page. This will open a drop-down menu.
  2. Select “Databases” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select “Introductory Databases”
  4. Select “Academic Search”.
  5. Type your keywords into the search boxes and click “Search”.
  6. Limit your search to “Magazines” and “Newspapers” under “Source Types” in the left bar.
  7. Click on an article title to read the full article, or click the “Find It” button to find the full text.

Using Scholarly Articles

Identifying Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles are written by researchers or experts in a field in order to share the results of their original research or analysis with other researchers and students. These articles often go through a process known as peer review where the article is reviewed by a group of experts in the field.

Scholarly Articles

  • It’s not always easy to tell if an article has been peer reviewed. Some databases will help by labeling results scholarly or academic. However, you will still need to examine each article to be sure that it’s scholarly.
  • The following characteristics can help you determine if the article you’re looking at is scholarly:
    • Author(s) name included
      • Scholarly articles are written by experts of researchers, so make sure that the author’s name is included.
    • Technical or specialized language
      • Scholarly articles will often use technical or highly specialized language.
    • Written for professionals
      • Scholarly articles are published in academic journals, which often have titles that suggest they are written for professionals in a particular field of study, and not for the general public.
    • Charts, graphs, and diagrams
      • Scholarly articles communicate research results, which means they will often include charts, graphs, or diagrams.
    • Long (5+ pages)
      • Scholarly articles tend to be relatively long; generally they are five or more pages.
    • Bibliography included
      • Scholarly articles will always include references to the sources cited or a bibliography. 

Finding Scholarly Articles

Exploring the UW Library's Introductory Databases list, Top 10 Databases list, and Databases by Subject/Type page are effective ways to locate appropriate databases for finding articles for your research projects. 

Databases that have strong, multidisciplinary coverage of many subjects in and beyond the Biosciences are useful starting points. Past Biology 100 students have used these databases:

Databases with focused coverage of a particular discipline can help you explore your subject thoroughly. Some specialty databases that past students have used are:

Databases may have different interfaces, but they work in similar ways. Here are some Tips for Finding Articles.

Remember, if you need help discovering sources or places to start your search, Ask A Librarian!

Ask a Librarian

 

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