Ask a Librarian
Chat - Text - Phone - In Person: quick answers to small questions
Library Subject and Course Guides
Self-service guides to resources in over 80 discipline and area study topics
Workshops and Tutorials
Learn a new skill or master a tool with one of our workshops and tutorials. Check back often -- we're always offering something new!
Searching by information format
Databases A-Z list Go to a directly to a particular databases eJournals A-Z Go directly into a specific journal Research guides Not sure which database to use? Go here to find databases that index information on your topic.
What is a scholarly article?
A scholarly article appears in a publication, such as a journal, which is made up of articles on a narrow topic and which document and discuss the results of original research. Authorship is usually by one or all of the researchers who did the research. Publishing in a scholarly journal is a method researchers use to communicate their research and share with other scholars in their field of study. The content usually includes a review of literature previously published on this topic, methodology used in the study, and the findings. The audience for these articles is usually discipline specific, and as a result the language in articles is often technical and discipline-specific. Articles in scholarly publications have gone through an editorial review by a panel of experts (peer-review) to ensure that the article has met the requirements of a scholarly article. Many scholarly periodicals are only available through libraries. An increasing number are also available as open access publications.
What is a popular article?
A popular article appears in a magazine or newspaper that you may buy at the supermarket. The content in these publications often covers current events or summarizes research done by others. The content in these publications is often brief, written in simple language, and often includes pictures and advertisements. Authors are not always named, and sources are not always identified.
A good search term is the key to effectively and rapidly finding information on the internet.
For example, the term ‘eating disorders’ might become ‘anorexic eating disorders in the 1980’s among men’.
A better search term is: ‘anorexic AND eating disorders AND 1980’s AND men’
Get rid of what you don’t need or want. Since anorexic is a specific type of eating disorder, we really don’t need 'eating disorder' if we have 'anorexic'.
For example, a search for grad* will search for a variety of terms which build on that stem such as graduate, graduating, graduates, etc.
The new search term is: ‘anorexic AND 1980’s AND men -site:.com’
The new search term is: anorexic AND 1980’s AND men AND "body dysmorphia" -site:.com
There's a lot of information out there. How do you decide whether it's good information? Use the following criteria and see if your information passes muster.
Currency - Is it the most up-to-date information on the topic?
Relevancy - Is the information fully relevant to your topic? Does it cover all aspects, or is it just tangentially related?
Authority - Is the author qualified to be speaking or writing about the topic? Does he/she have degrees related to the topic? If there isn't an author, how do you know that the information is reliable?
Purpose - If the website is selling something, then it has an inherent bias and you should be very skeptical. Even if you agree with their point of view, it's better to find a source that is unbiased and as objective as possible.
If Brown doesn't have everything you need, use Interlibrary Loan get materials from other libraries.
Books: using WorldCat/ Borrow Direct
If the book you need is checked out or not in our catalog, try looking for it in Worldcat, a catalog of libraries worldwide. You can also use WorldCat to conduct additional subject searches just to see what’s out there. Be sure you're on the Brown network, then click on the Request This Item in the green box. If it’s available, the book will be sent to you. This service for books is called Borrow Direct.
Journal articles: using ILLiad
If you found the article in a database, click on . If we don't have it, you'll be directed to an Interlibrary Loan link. If you're not in a database, or don't see , open your own ILLiad account and request the article there. Generally, you'll be emailed a PDF of the article, and it can be found in your ILLiad account.