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POLI 002: Introduction to Comparative Politics (Curry)

Tutorial .... Articles? Journals? Magazines? Periodicals? Oh my!

You are about to embark on a research adventure! You are going to be searching political science databases to find three different types of articles.

But FIRST a vocabulary lesson!

PERIODICAL is an umbrella term that refers to anything that is published periodically and includes newspapers, magazines and journals. 

ARTICLE is an individually authored and titled item in an issue of a periodical.

MAGAZINE is a term that usually refers to more popular periodicals, like Sports Illustrated, Time, New Yorker, The Atlantic

JOURNAL is a term that generally implies a scholarly, peer-reviewed periodical. For more on these, you might want to watch this short video:  Peer Review in 3 Minutes.

The research you are about to do will require a level of attention to detail that you are probably not accustomed to when searching for information using tools like Google. These databases will offer to sort the articles retrieved into different categories. One of those will be labeled scholarly or academic or peer-reviewed. So, you would expect that your "scholarly/research article" will be there. Sadly, that may or may not be true for two reasons:

REASON ONE: The database label could be incorrect. The database incorrectly identifies some of these periodicals, identifying some as scholarly that are not and missing some that are!

REASON TWO: You are going to be looking not at the entire issue of a journal but at a single article. Within some journals that are scholarly/peer reviewed, there are occasionally individual articles that could be considered opinion pieces or expert observer. Usually, though, in these journals they are flagged or labeled if you look at the article as a PDF. Here is an example of one such article. Notice Commentary at the top of the article.

So, when you are ready to learn about these three types, turn off your phone, open your favorite browser on your laptop, maybe close a few of those tabs, and begin the 2-part tutorial linked below!


What kind of article am I? Part One

What kind of article am I? Part Two