This is a helpful tool to help you recognize what a journal (or scholarly) article looks like.
When your instructors tell you to use journals, they don’t mean the Edmonton Journal. A journal is basically a magazine that is published by a professional group, such as The Journal of the American Medical Association or The Canadian Journal of Nursing Research.
The articles in journals are based on research. If you were ill in the hospital, would you want nurses and doctors taking care of you that learned their profession from journals? or from magazines such as Chatelaine, and/or any websites?[hide answer]
There are some excellent websites with good, current, reliable information. But there are many more websites that do not have good, current, reliable information. Anybody can put anything on the World Wide Web.
Before articles are published in journals, they are reviewed for credibility. The author of an article will have credentials that can be checked by the publisher. Do you know the credentials of the people who publish most websites?
Websites from some government departments or agencies and from professional associations are usually considered reliable.[hide answer]
These days most journals are published both in print and online. Libraries pay a subscription for their users to access online journals through databases. You can then search these databases by going to the library website.[hide answer]
A library database is basically a collection of online journals and e-books and sometimes online videos. Some databases cover general subject matter; some are very specific to a particular field of study.[hide answer]