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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Writing papers for 1st and 2nd year undergrads (Science, Math, Psyc)


The boxes below cover various aspects of finding articles, including techniques and places for finding popular and scholarly articles.

Also, the library has many subject library guides. For example, there are ones for earth sciences, biology, and chemistry. These will give you ideas about databases to search for articles.

Scholarly vs. Popular

Read Evaluating resources: Scholarly & Popular Sources from Berkeley, U Cal.

Also, read this chart:



(Image from Randolph Community College Library)

Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Magazine and  Newspaper articles

Popular articles from magazines and newspapers can:

  • provide general background information before you turn to academic journal literature;
  • identify late breaking news about important scientific discoveries or developments;
  • point to academic studies that are getting lots of attention; a newspaper or magazine or other popular publication may give a journalistic account of a scientific research project, mention its principal researchers, and mention the academic journal in which the research was published.

NOTE: some of the resources below cover scholarly articles as well as popular sources. See the page of this library guide devoted to scholarly articles. Below is a partial listing--see A to Z Database list and library catalog

Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles:

  • Can bring you to the front line of research
  • Go into a lot more depth typically
  • Often popular articles don’t have as comprehensive a review of the literature.  One hallmark of a good journal article is that it has al literature review.

Subject library guides will identify databases where you can search for scholarly articles.

Reading Scientific Articles

Here is a sampler of items that a Google search revealed:

Review Articles

Review articles give a bird's eye view of a field or niche within a field. They can contain valuable bibliography. The titles of these articles often have a slightly higher level or "generic" quality than the titles of  articles reporting very specific research findings.

 The science librarian can help you locate review articles in such databases as Web of Science and  Medline.

Also, see Annual Reviews, which is dedicated to this type of article.  Tip:  sort the search results in descending date order so you see the most recent articles for your topic.)

Interlibrary Loan

Use Interlibrary Loan to request a PDF of an article that isn't available at Lehigh or a scanned PDF of a print article that Lehigh owns. You will get an email when the article is ready for download.