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Tarleton State University Libraries Unit 6
WRAP-UP: Finding Articles & Citations
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This unit presented information about the characteristics of various types of periodicals. By learning these characteristics you should be able to determine which type of periodical best suits your information need, as well as determine the type of periodical in which a specific article appears.

Differentiating between periodical types is an important aspect of information gathering because readers often evaluate your work based on the types of resources used.

To recap, eight primary criteria are used to differentiate types of periodicals. These criteria are listed below along with a brief tip for applying each criterion:
•  Appearance:
-- Examine the cover, use of illustrations, and page numbering.
•  Intended Audience:
-- Analyze the periodical's content to determine its readership (academic, trade, general population, etc.)
•  Author Credentials:
-- Evaluate the author's expertise.
•  Periodical's Purpose:
-- Analyze the content to figure out its intended purpose. For example, determine if articles in the periodical report research findings, offer practical information, or entertain.
•  Types of Content:
-- Examine the contents in an issue: the articles' structure, types of topics discussed, tone used, etc.
•  Amount & Type of Advertising:
-- Scan the periodical and look at advertisements to see how much is there and the kinds of items advertised.
•  Type of Publisher:
-- Read the information in the front of the periodical to find out about the publisher. Look up information about the publisher.
•  Review Process & Accountability:
-- Read the submission guidelines. Check for bibliographies.
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In addition to the preceding information, this unit offered information about tools to use when searching for articles:
•  periodical indexes,
•  periodical abstracts,
•  subscription databases, and
•  Internet search tools.

Combining this information with what you've learned in previous units about the research process and searching should enable you to successfully use these tools to locate articles and citations. In addition, you now have strategies for locating a complete article using information offered in a citation.

To supplement this unit's information about subscription databases, the next unit gives more in-depth information about databases:
•  how they work,
•  how to pick appropriate ones to use,
•  how to access and search them, and
•  how to understand their contents.

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Updated 8/2004