Skip to main content

Health, Illness and Society (CSOCL-2406)


Magazines, newspapers, and journals are called "periodicals" because they are issued on a regular or "periodic" basis.

For Academic purposes, periodicals can be separated into three major groups:

popular magazines and newspapers,
professional publications, and
scholarly journals.

If you are able to recognize the differences among these sources, you will be able to identify the best information for your research need.

Library & Research Help


Selecting Articles

Just like in Google, searching in the databases can produce hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of results! 

When you type in your keywords and find articles, be selective.

Here are a few things to notice:

  • What is the date of the article?
  • What is the title of the journal?  Is this an academic journal or a magazine or newspaper article?
  • Does the article have references?

In addition, by reading the abstract, you can see how relevant the article is to your topic.


Evaluating Websites

You be the Judge!

Criteria for judging Web sites for academic use:

1. Author's credentials & affiliation

  • Who is the author? What expertise does he or she have on this topic? Who sponsors the site? Check the domain name to see if it is a university, business, organization, or an individual. Check for an "About Us" or "Contact Us" link.

2. Purpose of the site (educational or commercial?)

  • What is the stated purpose of the site? Check the "About..." link if there is one.  Is the site intended to inform, educate, or entertain? Would you quote information from this site in a college research paper?

3. Bias (sponsorship, language, or images)

  •  What position or opinion is presented and does it seem biased? What kind of sites does this one link to?

4. Currency (kept up-to-date)

  • On what date was the page created? Is there a copyright or last updated date? Do you need more current information? Do links on the site still connect to their destination?

5.  Accuracy

  •  Does the information presented seem accurate? Are the facts verifiable in another source?

6. References to sources of information

  • Does the website provide citations for the information?  Is there a bibliography available?

For more, see the Lesley Searchpath tutorial, Module 5.

Designed and maintained by Lesley University Librarians
Website based on LibGuides 2 Customization