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21 Legit Research Databases for Free Journal Articles in 2022
Written by Scribendi
Has this ever happened to you? While looking for websites for research, you come across a research paper site that claims to connect academics to a peer-reviewed article database for free.
Intrigued, you search for keywords related to your topic, only to discover that you must pay a hefty subscription fee to access the service. After the umpteenth time being duped, you begin to wonder if there's even such a thing as free journal articles .
Subscription fees and paywalls are often the bane of students and academics, especially those at small institutions who don't provide access to many free article directories and repositories.
Whether you're working on an undergraduate paper, a PhD dissertation, or a medical research study, we want to help you find tools to locate and access the information you need to produce well-researched, compelling, and innovative work.
Below, we discuss why peer-reviewed articles are superior and list out the best free article databases to use in 2022.
Download Our Free Research Database Roundup PDF
Why peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are more authoritative.
Determining what sources are reliable can be challenging. Peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles are the gold standard in academic research. Reputable academic journals have a rigorous peer-review process.
The peer review process provides accountability to the academic community, as well as to the content of the article. The peer review process involves qualified experts in a specific (often very specific) field performing a review of an article's methods and findings to determine things like quality and credibility.
Peer-reviewed articles can be found in peer-reviewed article databases and research databases, and if you know that a database of journals is reliable, that can offer reassurances about the reliability of a free article. Peer review is often double blind, meaning that the author removes all identifying information and, likewise, does not know the identity of the reviewers. This helps reviewers maintain objectivity and impartiality so as to judge an article based on its merit.
Where to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles
Peer-reviewed articles can be found in a variety of research databases. Below is a list of some of the major databases you can use to find peer-reviewed articles and other sources in disciplines spanning the humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
What Are Open Access Journals?
An open access (OA) journal is a journal whose content can be accessed without payment. This provides scholars, students, and researchers with free journal articles . OA journals use alternate methods of funding to cover publication costs so that articles can be published without having to pass those publication costs on to the reader.
Some of these funding models include standard funding methods like advertising, public funding, and author payment models, where the author pays a fee in order to publish in the journal. There are OA journals that have non-peer-reviewed academic content, as well as journals that focus on dissertations, theses, and papers from conferences, but the main focus of OA is peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.
The internet has certainly made it easier to access research articles and other scholarly publications without needing access to a university library, and OA takes another step in that direction by removing financial barriers to academic content.
Features of legitimate oa journals.
There are things to look out for when trying to decide if a free publication journal is legitimate:
Mission statement —The mission statement for an OA journal should be available on their website.
Publication history —Is the journal well established? How long has it been available?
Editorial board —Who are the members of the editorial board, and what are their credentials?
Indexing —Can the journal be found in a reliable database?
Peer review —What is the peer review process? Does the journal allow enough time in the process for a reliable assessment of quality?
Impact factor —What is the average number of times the journal is cited over a two-year period?
Features of Illegitimate OA Journals
There are predatory publications that take advantage of the OA format, and they are something to be wary of. Here are some things to look out for:
Contact information —Is contact information provided? Can it be verified?
Turnaround —If the journal makes dubious claims about the amount of time from submission to publication, it is likely unreliable.
Editorial board —Much like determining legitimacy, looking at the editorial board and their credentials can help determine illegitimacy.
Indexing —Can the journal be found in any scholarly databases?
Peer review —Is there a statement about the peer review process? Does it fit what you know about peer review?
How to Find Scholarly Articles
Keywords are included in an article by the author. Keywords are an excellent way to find content relevant to your research topic or area of interest. In academic searches, much like you would on a search engine, you can use keywords to navigate through what is available to find exactly what you're looking for.
Authors provide keywords that will help you easily find their article when researching a related topic, often including general terms to accommodate broader searches, as well as some more specific terms for those with a narrower scope. Keywords can be used individually or in combination to refine your scholarly article search.
Narrow Down Results
Sometimes, search results can be overwhelming, and searching for free articles on a journal database is no exception, but there are multiple ways to narrow down your results. A good place to start is discipline.
What category does your topic fall into (psychology, architecture, machine learning, etc.)? You can also narrow down your search with a year range if you're looking for articles that are more recent.
A Boolean search can be incredibly helpful. This entails including terms like AND between two keywords in your search if you need both keywords to be in your results (or, if you are looking to exclude certain keywords, to exclude these words from the results).
Consider Different Avenues
If you're not having luck using keywords in your search for free articles, you may still be able to find what you're looking for by changing your tactics. Casting a wider net sometimes yields positive results, so it may be helpful to try searching by subject if keywords aren't getting you anywhere.
You can search for a specific publisher to see if they have OA publications in the academic journal database. And, if you know more precisely what you're looking for, you can search for the title of the article or the author's name.
The Top 21 Free Online Journal and Research Databases
Navigating OA journals, research article databases, and academic websites trying to find high-quality sources for your research can really make your head spin. What constitutes a reliable database? What is a useful resource for your discipline and research topic? How can you find and access full-text, peer-reviewed articles?
Fortunately, we're here to help. Having covered some of the ins and outs of peer review, OA journals, and how to search for articles, we have compiled a list of the top 21 free online journals and the best research databases. This list of databases is a great resource to help you navigate the wide world of academic research.
These databases provide a variety of free sources, from abstracts and citations to full-text, peer-reviewed OA journals. With databases covering specific areas of research and interdisciplinary databases that provide a variety of material, these are some of our favorite free databases, and they're totally legit!
CORE is a multidisciplinary aggregator of OA research. CORE has the largest collection of OA articles available. It allows users to search more than 219 million OA articles. While most of these link to the full-text article on the original publisher's site, or to a PDF available for download, five million records are hosted directly on CORE.
CORE's mission statement is a simple and straightforward commitment to offering OA articles to anyone, anywhere in the world. They also host communities that are available for researchers to join and an ambassador community to enhance their services globally. In addition to a straightforward keyword search, CORE offers advanced search options to filter results by publication type, year, language, journal, repository, and author.
CORE's user interface is easy to use and navigate. Search results can be sorted based on relevance or recency, and you can search for relevant content directly from the results screen.
Collection: 219,537,133 OA articles
Other Services: Additional services are available from CORE, with extras that are geared toward researchers, repositories, and businesses. There are tools for accessing raw data, including an API that provides direct access to data, datasets that are available for download, and FastSync for syncing data content from the CORE database.
CORE has a recommender plug-in that suggests relevant OA content in the database while conducting a search and a discovery feature that helps you discover OA versions of paywalled articles. Other features include tools for managing content, such as a dashboard for managing repository output and the Repository Edition service to enhance discoverability.
Good Source of Peer-Reviewed Articles: Yes
Advanced Search Options: Language, author, journal, publisher, repository, DOI, year
Functioning as a research and publishing network, ScienceOpen offers OA to more than 74 million articles in all areas of science. Although you do need to register to view the full text of articles, registration is free. The advanced search function is highly detailed, allowing you to find exactly the research you're looking for.
The Berlin- and Boston-based company was founded in 2013 to "facilitate open and public communications between academics and to allow ideas to be judged on their merit, regardless of where they come from." Search results can be exported for easy integration with reference management systems.
You can also bookmark articles for later research. There are extensive networking options, including your Science Open profile, a forum for interacting with other researchers, the ability to track your usage and citations, and an interactive bibliography. Users have the ability to review articles and provide their knowledge and insight within the community.
Other Services: None
Advanced Search Options: Content type, source, author, journal, discipline
3. Directory of Open Access Journals
A multidisciplinary, community-curated directory, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) gives researchers access to high-quality peer-reviewed journals. It has archived more than two million articles from 17,193 journals, allowing you to either browse by subject or search by keyword.
The site was launched in 2003 with the aim of increasing the visibility of OA scholarly journals online. Content on the site covers subjects from science, to law, to fine arts, and everything in between. DOAJ has a commitment to "increase the visibility, accessibility, reputation, usage and impact of quality, peer-reviewed, OA scholarly research journals globally, regardless of discipline, geography or language."
Information about the journal is available with each search result. Abstracts are also available in a collapsible format directly from the search screen. The scholarly article website is somewhat simple, but it is easy to navigate. There are 16 principles of transparency and best practices in scholarly publishing that clearly outline DOAJ policies and standards.
Advanced Search Options: Subject, journal, year
4. Education Resources Information Center
The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) of the Institution of Education Sciences allows you to search by topic for material related to the field of education. Links lead to other sites, where you may have to purchase the information, but you can search for full-text articles only. You can also search only peer-reviewed sources.
The service primarily indexes journals, gray literature (such as technical reports, white papers, and government documents), and books. All sources of material on ERIC go through a formal review process prior to being indexed. ERIC's selection policy is available as a PDF on their website.
The ERIC website has an extensive FAQ section to address user questions. This includes categories like general questions, peer review, and ERIC content. There are also tips for advanced searches, as well as general guidance on the best way to search the database. ERIC is an excellent database for content specific to education.
Advanced Search Options: Boolean
5. arXiv e-Print Archive
The arXiv e-Print Archive is run by Cornell University Library and curated by volunteer moderators, and it now offers OA to more than one million e-prints.
There are advisory committees for all eight subjects available on the database. With a stated commitment to an "emphasis on openness, collaboration, and scholarship," the arXiv e-Print Archive is an excellent STEM resource.
The interface is not as user-friendly as some of the other databases available, and the website hosts a blog to provide news and updates, but it is otherwise a straightforward math and science resource. There are simple and advanced search options, and, in addition to conducting searches for specific topics and articles, users can browse content by subject. The arXiv e-Print Archive clearly states that they do not peer review the e-prints in the database.
Good Source of Peer-Reviewed Articles: No
Advanced Search Options: Subject, date, title, author, abstract, DOI
6. Social Science Research Network
The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is a collection of papers from the social sciences community. It is a highly interdisciplinary platform used to search for scholarly articles related to 67 social science topics. SSRN has a variety of research networks for the various topics available through the free scholarly database.
The site offers more than 700,000 abstracts and more than 600,000 full-text papers. There is not yet a specific option to search for only full-text articles, but, because most of the papers on the site are free access, it's not often that you encounter a paywall. There is currently no option to search for only peer-reviewed articles.
You must become a member to use the services, but registration is free and enables you to interact with other scholars around the world. SSRN is "passionately committed to increasing inclusion, diversity and equity in scholarly research," and they encourage and discuss the use of inclusive language in scholarship whenever possible.
Collection: 1,058,739 abstracts; 915,452 articles
Advanced Search Options: Term, author, date, network
7. Public Library of Science
Public Library of Science (PLOS) is a big player in the world of OA science. Publishing 12 OA journals, the nonprofit organization is committed to facilitating openness in academic research. According to the site, "all PLOS content is at the highest possible level of OA, meaning that scientific articles are immediately and freely available to anyone, anywhere."
PLOS outlines four fundamental goals that guide the organization: break boundaries, empower researchers, redefine quality, and open science. All PLOS journals are peer-reviewed, and all 12 journals uphold rigorous ethical standards for research, publication, and scientific reporting.
PLOS does not offer advanced search options. Content is organized by topic into research communities that users can browse through, in addition to options to search for both articles and journals. The PLOS website also has resources for peer reviewers, including guidance on becoming a reviewer and on how to best participate in the peer review process.
Collection: 12 journals
Advanced Search Options: None
OpenDOAR, or the Directory of Open Access Repositories, is a comprehensive resource for finding free OA journals and articles. Using Google Custom Search, OpenDOAR combs through OA repositories around the world and returns relevant research in all disciplines.
The repositories it searches through are assessed and categorized by OpenDOAR staff to ensure they meet quality standards. Inclusion criteria for the database include requirements for OA content, global access, and categorically appropriate content, in addition to various other quality assurance measures. OpenDOAR has metadata, data, content, preservation, and submission policies for repositories, in addition to two OA policy statements regarding minimum and optimum recommendations.
This database allows users to browse and search repositories, which can then be selected, and articles and data can be accessed from the repository directly. As a repository database, much of the content on the site is geared toward the support of repositories and OA standards.
Collection: 5,768 repositories
Other Services: OpenDOAR offers a variety of additional services. Given the nature of the platform, services are primarily aimed at repositories and institutions, and there is a marked focus on OA in general. Sherpa services are OA archiving tools for authors and institutions.
They also offer various resources for OA support and compliance regarding standards and policies. The publication router matches publications and publishers with appropriate repositories.
There are also services and resources from JISC for repositories for cost management, discoverability, research impact, and interoperability, including ORCID consortium membership information. Additionally, a repository self-assessment tool is available for members.
Advanced Search Options: Name, organization name, repository type, software name, content type, subject, country, region
9. Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) is operated by the Bielefeld University Library in Germany, and it offers more than 240 million documents from more than 8,000 sources. Sixty percent of its content is OA, and you can filter your search accordingly.
BASE has rigorous inclusion requirements for content providers regarding quality and relevance, and they maintain a list of content providers for the sake of transparency, which can be easily found on their website. BASE has a fairly elegant interface. Search results can be organized by author, title, or date.
From the search results, items can be selected and exported, added to favorites, emailed, and searched in Google Scholar. There are basic and advanced search features, with the advanced search offering numerous options for refining search criteria. There is also a feature on the website that saves recent searches without additional steps from the user.
Collection: 276,019,066 documents; 9,286 content providers
Advanced Search Options: Author, subject, year, content provider, language, document type, access, terms of reuse
10. Digital Library of the Commons Repository
Run by Indiana University, the Digital Library of the Commons (DLC) Repository is a multidisciplinary journal repository that allows users to access thousands of free and OA articles from around the world. You can browse by document type, date, author, title, and more or search for keywords relevant to your topic.
DCL also offers the Comprehensive Bibliography of the Commons, an image database, and a keyword thesaurus for enhanced search parameters. The repository includes books, book chapters, conference papers, journal articles, surveys, theses and dissertations, and working papers. DCL advanced search features drop-down menus of search types with built-in Boolean search options.
Searches can be sorted by relevance, title, date, or submission date in ascending or descending order. Abstracts are included in selected search results, with access to full texts available, and citations can be exported from the same page. Additionally, the image database search includes tips for better search results.
Advanced Search Options: Author, date, title, subject, sector, region, conference
11. CIA World Factbook
The CIA World Factbook is a little different from the other resources on this list in that it is not an online journal directory or repository. It is, however, a useful free online research database for academics in a variety of disciplines.
All the information is free to access, and it provides facts about every country in the world, which are organized by category and include information about history, geography, transportation, and much more. The World Factbook can be searched by country or region, and there is also information about the world’s oceans.
This site contains resources related to the CIA as an organization rather than being a scientific journal database specifically. The site has a user interface that is easy to navigate. The site also provides a section for updates regarding changes to what information is available and how it is organized, making it easier to interact with the information you are searching for.
Collection: 266 countries
Paperity boasts its status as the "first multidisciplinary aggregator of OA journals and papers." Their focus is on helping you avoid paywalls while connecting you to authoritative research. In addition to providing readers with easy access to thousands of journals, Paperity seeks to help authors reach their audiences and help journals increase their exposure to boost readership.
Paperity has journal articles for every discipline, and the database offers more than a dozen advanced search options, including the length of the paper and the number of authors. There is even an option to include, exclude, or exclusively search gray papers.
Paperity is available for mobile, with both a mobile site and the Paperity Reader, an app that is available for both Android and Apple users. The database is also available on social media. You can interact with Paperity via Twitter and Facebook, and links to their social media are available on their homepage, including their Twitter feed.
Advanced Search Options: Title, abstract, journal title, journal ISSN, publisher, year of publication, number of characters, number of authors, DOI, author, affiliation, language, country, region, continent, gray papers
13. dblp Computer Science Bibliography
The dblp Computer Science Bibliography is an online index of major computer science publications. dblp was founded in 1993, though until 2010 it was a university-specific database at the University of Trier in Germany. It is currently maintained by the Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics.
Although it provides access to both OA articles and those behind a paywall, you can limit your search to only OA articles. The site indexes more than three million publications, making it an invaluable resource in the world of computer science. dblp entries are color-coded based on the type of item.
dblp has an extensive FAQ section, so questions that might arise about topics like the database itself, navigating the website, or the data on dblp, in addition to several other topics, are likely to be answered. The website also hosts a blog and has a section devoted to website statistics.
EconBiz is a great resource for economic and business studies. A service of the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, it offers access to full texts online, with the option of searching for OA material only. Their literature search is performed across multiple international databases.
EconBiz has an incredibly useful research skills section, with resources such as Guided Walk, a service to help students and researchers navigate searches, evaluate sources, and correctly cite references; the Research Guide EconDesk, a help desk to answer specific questions and provide advice to aid in literature searches; and the Academic Career Kit for what they refer to as Early Career Researchers.
Other helpful resources include personal literature lists, a calendar of events for relevant calls for papers, conferences, and workshops, and an economics terminology thesaurus to help in finding keywords for searches. To stay up-to-date with EconBiz, you can sign up for their newsletter.
Advanced Search Options: Title, subject, author, institution, ISBN/ISSN, journal, publisher, language, OA only
15. BioMed Central
BioMed Central provides OA research from more than 300 peer-reviewed journals. While originally focused on resources related to the physical sciences, math, and engineering, BioMed Central has branched out to include journals that cover a broader range of disciplines, with the aim of providing a single platform that provides OA articles for a variety of research needs. You can browse these journals by subject or title, or you can search all articles for your required keyword.
BioMed Central has a commitment to peer-reviewed sources and to the peer review process itself, continually seeking to help and improve the peer review process. They're "committed to maintaining high standards through full and stringent peer review." They publish the journal Research Integrity and Peer Review , which publishes research on the subject.
Additionally, the website includes resources to assist and support editors as part of their commitment to providing high-quality, peer-reviewed OA articles.
Other Services: BMC administers the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) registry. While initially designed for registering clinical trials, since its creation in 2000, the registry has broadened its scope to include other health studies as well.
The registry is recognized by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), and it meets the requirements established by the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.
The study records included in the registry are all searchable and free to access. The ISRCTN registry "supports transparency in clinical research, helps reduce selective reporting of results and ensures an unbiased and complete evidence base."
Advanced Search Options: Author, title, journal, list
A multidisciplinary search engine, JURN provides links to various scholarly websites, articles, and journals that are free to access or OA. Covering the fields of the arts, humanities, business, law, nature, science, and medicine, JURN has indexed almost 5,000 repositories to help you find exactly what you're looking for.
Search features are enhanced by Google, but searches are filtered through their index of repositories. JURN seeks to reach a wide audience, with their search engine tailored to researchers from "university lecturers and students seeking a strong search tool for OA content" and "advanced and ambitious students, age 14-18" to "amateur historians and biographers" and "unemployed and retired lecturers."
That being said, JURN is very upfront about its limitations. They admit to not being a good resource for educational studies, social studies, or psychology, and conference archives are generally not included due to frequently unstable URLs.
Collection: 5,064 indexed journals
Other Services: JURN has a browser add-on called UserScript. This add-on allows users to integrate the JURN database directly into Google Search. When performing a search through Google, the add-on creates a link that sends the search directly to JURN CSE. JURN CSE is a search service that is hosted by Google.
Clicking the link from the Google Search bar will run your search through the JURN database from the Google homepage. There is also an interface for a DuckDuckGo search box; while this search engine has an emphasis on user privacy, for smaller sites that may be indexed by JURN, DuckDuckGo may not provide the same depth of results.
Advanced Search Options: Google search modifiers
Dryad is a digital repository of curated, OA scientific research data. Launched in 2009, it is run by a not-for-profit membership organization, with a community of institutional and publisher members for whom their services have been designed. Members include institutions such as Stanford, UCLA, and Yale, as well as publishers like Oxford University Press and Wiley.
Dryad aims to "promote a world where research data is openly available, integrated with the scholarly literature, and routinely reused to create knowledge." It is free to access for the search and discovery of data. Their user experience is geared toward easy self-depositing, supports Creative Commons licensing, and provides DOIs for all their content.
Note that there is a publishing charge associated if you wish to publish your data in Dryad. When searching datasets, they are accompanied by author information and abstracts for the associated studies, and citation information is provided for easy attribution.
Advanced Search Options: No
Run by the British Library, the E-Theses Online Service (EThOS) allows you to search over 500,000 doctoral theses in a variety of disciplines. All of the doctoral theses available on EThOS have been awarded by higher education institutions in the United Kingdom.
Although some full texts are behind paywalls, you can limit your search to items available for immediate download, either directly through EThOS or through an institution's website. More than half of the records in the database provide access to full-text theses.
EThOS notes that they do not hold all records for all institutions, but they strive to index as many doctoral theses as possible, and the database is constantly expanding, with approximately 3,000 new records added and 2,000 new full-text theses available every month. The availability of full-text theses is dependent on multiple factors, including their availability in the institutional repository and the level of repository development.
Advanced Search Options: Abstract, author's first name, author's last name, awarding body, current institution, EThOS ID, year, language, qualifications, research supervisor, sponsor/funder, keyword, title
PubMed is a research platform well-known in the fields of science and medicine. It was created and developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). It has been available since 1996 and offers access to "more than 33 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books."
While PubMed does not provide full-text articles directly, and many full-text articles may be behind paywalls or require subscriptions to access them, when articles are available from free sources, such as through PubMed Central (PMC), those links are provided with the citations and abstracts that PubMed does provide.
PMC, which was established in 2000 by the NLM, is a free full-text archive that includes more than 6,000,000 records. PubMed records link directly to corresponding PMC results. PMC content is provided by publishers and other content owners, digitization projects, and authors directly.
Advanced Search Options: Author's first name, author's last name, identifier, corporation, date completed, date created, date entered, date modified, date published, MeSH, book, conflict of interest statement, EC/RN number, editor, filter, grant number, page number, pharmacological action, volume, publication type, publisher, secondary source ID, text, title, abstract, transliterated title
20. Semantic Scholar
A unique and easy-to-use resource, Semantic Scholar defines itself not just as a research database but also as a "search and discovery tool." Semantic Scholar harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to efficiently sort through millions of science-related papers based on your search terms.
Through this singular application of machine learning, Semantic Scholar expands search results to include topic overviews based on your search terms, with the option to create an alert for or further explore the topic. It also provides links to related topics.
In addition, search results produce "TLDR" summaries in order to provide concise overviews of articles and enhance your research by helping you to navigate quickly and easily through the available literature to find the most relevant information. According to the site, although some articles are behind paywalls, "the data [they] have for those articles is limited," so you can expect to receive mostly full-text results.
Other Services: Semantic Scholar supports multiple popular browsers. Content can be accessed through both mobile and desktop versions of Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Opera.
Additionally, Semantic Scholar provides browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox, so AI-powered scholarly search results are never more than a click away. The mobile interface includes an option for Semantic Swipe, a new way of interacting with your research results.
There are also beta features that can be accessed as part of the Beta Program, which will provide you with features that are being actively developed and require user feedback for further improvement.
Advanced Search Options: Field of study, date range, publication type, author, journal, conference, PDF
Zenodo, powered by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), was launched in 2013. Taking its name from Zenodotus, the first librarian of the ancient library of Alexandria, Zenodo is a tool "built and developed by researchers, to ensure that everyone can join in open science." Zenodo accepts all research from every discipline in any file format.
However, Zenodo also curates uploads and promotes peer-reviewed material that is available through OA. A DOI is assigned to everything that is uploaded to Zenodo, making research easily findable and citable. You can sort by keyword, title, journal, and more and download OA documents directly from the site.
While there are closed access and restricted access items in the database, the vast majority of research is OA material. Search results can be filtered by access type, making it easy to view the free articles available in the database.
Advanced Search Options: Access, file type, keywords
Check out our roundup of free research databases as a handy one-page PDF.
How to find peer-reviewed articles.
There are a lot of free scholarly articles available from various sources. The internet is a big place. So how do you go about finding peer-reviewed articles when conducting your research? It's important to make sure you are using reputable sources.
The first source of the article is the person or people who wrote it. Checking out the author can give you some initial insight into how much you can trust what you’re reading. Looking into the publication information of your sources can also indicate whether the article is reliable.
Aspects of the article, such as subject and audience, tone, and format, are other things you can look at when evaluating whether the article you're using is valid, reputable, peer-reviewed material. So, let's break that down into various components so you can assess your research to ensure that you're using quality articles and conducting solid research.
Check the Author
Peer-reviewed articles are written by experts or scholars with experience in the field or discipline they're writing about. The research in a peer-reviewed article has to pass a rigorous evaluation process, so it’s a foregone conclusion that the author(s) of a peer-reviewed article should have experience or training related to that research.
When evaluating an article, take a look at the author’s information. What credentials does the author have to indicate that their research has scholarly weight behind it? Finding out what type of degree the author has—and what that degree is in—can provide insight into what kind of authority the author is on the subject.
Something else that might lend credence to the author’s scholarly role is their professional affiliation. A look at what organization or institution they are affiliated with can tell you a lot about their experience or expertise. Where were they trained, and who is verifying their research?
Identify Subject and Audience
The ultimate goal of a study is to answer a question. Scholarly articles are also written for scholarly audiences, especially articles that have gone through the peer review process. This means that the author is trying to reach experts, researchers, academics, and students in the field or topic the research is based on.
Think about the question the author is trying to answer by conducting this research, why, and for whom. What is the subject of the article? What question has it set out to answer? What is the purpose of finding the information? Is the purpose of the article of importance to other scholars? Is it original content?
Research should also be approached analytically. Is the methodology sound? Is the author using an analytical approach to evaluate the data that they have obtained? Are the conclusions they've reached substantiated by their data and analysis? Answering these questions can reveal a lot about the article’s validity.
Reliable articles from peer-reviewed sources have certain format elements to be aware of. The first is an abstract. An abstract is a short summary or overview of the article. Does the article have an abstract? It's unlikely that you're reading a peer-reviewed article if it doesn’t. Peer-reviewed journals will also have a word count range. If an article seems far too short or incredibly long, that may be reason to doubt it.
Another feature of reliable articles is the sections the information is divided into. Peer-reviewed research articles will have clear, concise sections that appropriately organize the information. This might include a literature review, methodology, and results in the case of research articles and a conclusion.
One of the most important sections is the references or bibliography. This is where the researcher lists all the sources of their information. A peer-reviewed source will have a comprehensive reference section.
An article that has been written to reach an academic community will have an academic tone. The language that is used, and the way this language is used, is important to consider. If the article is riddled with grammatical errors, confusing syntax, and casual language, it almost definitely didn't make it through the peer review process.
Also consider the use of terminology. Every discipline is going to have standard terminology or jargon that can be used and understood by other academics in the discipline. The language in a peer-reviewed article is going to reflect that.
If the author is going out of their way to explain simple terms, or terms that are standard to the field or discipline, it's unlikely that the article has been peer reviewed, as this is something that the author would be asked to address during the review process.
The source of the article will be a very good indicator of the likelihood that it was peer reviewed. Where was the article published? Was it published alongside other academic articles in the same discipline? Is it a legitimate and reputable scholarly publication?
A trade publication or newspaper might be legitimate or reputable, but it is not a scholarly source, and it will not have been subject to the peer review process. Scholarly journals are the best resource for peer-reviewed articles, but it's important to remember that not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed.
It’s helpful to look at a scholarly source’s website, as peer-reviewed journals will have a clear indication of the peer review process. University libraries, institutional repositories, and reliable databases (and you now might have a list of some legit ones) can also help provide insight into whether an article comes from a peer-reviewed journal.
Common Research Mistakes to Avoid
Research is a lot of work. Even with high standards and good intentions, it’s easy to make mistakes. Perhaps you searched for access to scientific journals for free and found the perfect peer-reviewed sources, but you forgot to document everything, and your references are a mess. Or, you only searched for free online articles and missed out on a ground-breaking study that was behind a paywall.
Whether your research is for a degree or to get published or to satisfy your own inquisitive nature, or all of the above, you want all that work to produce quality results. You want your research to be thorough and accurate.
To have any hope of contributing to the literature on your research topic, your results need to be high quality. You might not be able to avoid every potential mistake, but here are some that are both common and easy to avoid.
Sticking to One Source
One of the hallmarks of good research is a healthy reference section. Using a variety of sources gives you a better answer to your question. Even if all of the literature is in agreement, looking at various aspects of the topic may provide you with an entirely different picture than you would have if you looked at your research question from only one angle.
Not Documenting Every Fact
As you conduct your research, do yourself a favor and write everything down. Everything you include in your paper or article that you got from another source is going to need to be added to your references and cited.
It's important, especially if your aim is to conduct ethical, high-quality research, that all of your research has proper attribution. If you don't document as you go, you could end up making a lot of work for yourself if the information you don’t write down is something that later, as you write your paper, you really need.
Using Outdated Materials
Academia is an ever-changing landscape. What was true in your academic discipline or area of research ten years ago may have since been disproven. If fifteen studies have come out since the article that you're using was published, it's more than a little likely that you're going to be basing your research on flawed or dated information.
If the information you're basing your research on isn’t as up-to-date as possible, your research won't be of quality or able to stand up to any amount of scrutiny. You don’t want all of your hard work to be for naught.
Relying Solely on Open Access Journals
OA is a great resource for conducting academic research. There are high-quality journal articles available through OA, and that can be very helpful for your research. But, just because you have access to free articles, that doesn't mean that there's nothing to be found behind a paywall.
Just as dismissing high-quality peer-reviewed articles because they are OA would be limiting, not exploring any paid content at all is equally short-sighted. If you're seeking to conduct thorough and comprehensive research, exploring all of your options for quality sources is going to be to your benefit.
Digging Too Deep or Not Deep Enough
Research is an art form, and it involves a delicate balance of information. If you conduct your research using only broad search terms, you won't be able to answer your research question well, or you'll find that your research provides information that is closely related to your topic but, ultimately, your findings are vague and unsubstantiated.
On the other hand, if you delve deeply into your research topic with specific searches and turn up too many sources, you might have a lot of information that is adjacent to your topic but without focus and perhaps not entirely relevant. It's important to answer your research question concisely but thoroughly.
Different Types of Scholarly Articles
Different types of scholarly articles have different purposes. An original research article, also called an empirical article, is the product of a study or an experiment. This type of article seeks to answer a question or fill a gap in the existing literature.
Research articles will have a methodology, results, and a discussion of the findings of the experiment or research and typically a conclusion.
Review articles overview the current literature and research and provide a summary of what the existing research indicates or has concluded. This type of study will have a section for the literature review, as well as a discussion of the findings of that review. Review articles will have a particularly extensive reference or bibliography section.
Theoretical articles draw on existing literature to create new theories or conclusions, or look at current theories from a different perspective, to contribute to the foundational knowledge of the field of study.
10 Tips for Navigating Journal Databases
Use the right academic journal database for your search, be that interdisciplinary or specific to your field. Or both!
If it’s an option, set the search results to return only peer-reviewed sources.
Start by using search terms that are relevant to your topic without being overly specific.
Try synonyms, especially if your keywords aren’t returning the desired results.
Even if you’ve found some good articles, try searching using different terms.
Explore the advanced search features of the database(s).
Learn to use Booleans (AND, OR, NOT) to expand or narrow your results.
Once you’ve gotten some good results from a more general search, try narrowing your search.
Read through abstracts when trying to find articles relevant to your research.
Keep track of your research and use citation tools. It’ll make life easier when it comes time to compile your references.
7 Frequently Asked Questions
1. how do i get articles for free.
Free articles can be found through free online academic journals, OA databases, or other databases that include OA journals and articles. These resources allow you to access free papers online so you can conduct your research without getting stuck behind a paywall.
Academics don’t receive payment for the articles they contribute to journals. There are often, in fact, publication fees that scholars pay in order to publish. This is one of the funding structures that allows OA journals to provide free content so that you don’t have to pay fees or subscription costs to access journal articles.
2. How Do I Find Journal Articles?
Journal articles can be found in databases and institutional repositories that can be accessed at university libraries. However, online research databases that contain OA articles are the best resource for getting free access to journal articles that are available online.
Peer-reviewed journal articles are the best to use for academic research, and there are a number of databases where you can find peer-reviewed OA journal articles. Once you've found a useful article, you can look through the references for the articles the author used to conduct their research, and you can then search online databases for those articles, too.
3. How Do I Find Peer-Reviewed Articles?
Peer-reviewed articles can be found in reputable scholarly peer-reviewed journals. High-quality journals and journal articles can be found online using academic search engines and free research databases. These resources are excellent for finding OA articles, including peer-reviewed articles.
OA articles are articles that can be accessed for free. While some scholarly search engines and databases include articles that aren't peer reviewed, there are also some that provide only peer-reviewed articles, and databases that include non-peer-reviewed articles often have advanced search features that enable you to select “peer review only.” The database will return results that are exclusively peer-reviewed content.
4. What Are Research Databases?
A research database is a list of journals, articles, datasets, and/or abstracts that allows you to easily search for scholarly and academic resources and conduct research online. There are databases that are interdisciplinary and cover a variety of topics.
For example, Paperity might be a great resource for a chemist as well as a linguist, and there are databases that are more specific to a certain field. So, while ERIC might be one of the best educational databases available for OA content, it's not going to be one of the best databases for finding research in the field of microbiology.
5. How Do I Find Scholarly Articles for Specific Fields?
There are interdisciplinary research databases that provide articles in a variety of fields, as well as research databases that provide articles that cater to specific disciplines. Additionally, a journal repository or index can be a helpful resource for finding articles in a specific field.
When searching an interdisciplinary database, there are frequently advanced search features that allow you to narrow the search results down so that they are specific to your field. Selecting “psychology” in the advanced search features will return psychology journal articles in your search results. You can also try databases that are specific to your field.
If you're searching for law journal articles, many law reviews are OA. If you don’t know of any databases specific to history, visiting a journal repository or index and searching “history academic journals” can return a list of journals specific to history and provide you with a place to begin your research.
6. Are Peer-Reviewed Articles Really More Legitimate?
The short answer is yes, peer-reviewed articles are more legitimate resources for academic research. The peer review process provides legitimacy, as it is a rigorous review of the content of an article that is performed by scholars and academics who are experts in their field of study. The review provides an evaluation of the quality and credibility of the article.
Non-peer-reviewed articles are not subject to a review process and do not undergo the same level of scrutiny. This means that non-peer-reviewed articles are unlikely, or at least not as likely, to meet the same standards that peer-reviewed articles do.
7. Are Free Article Directories Legitimate?
Yes! As with anything, some databases are going to be better for certain requirements than others. But, a scholarly article database being free is not a reason in itself to question its legitimacy.
Free scholarly article databases can provide access to abstracts, scholarly article websites, journal repositories, and high-quality peer-reviewed journal articles. The internet has a lot of information, and it's often challenging to figure out what information is reliable.
Research databases and article directories are great resources to help you conduct your research. Our list of the best research paper websites is sure to provide you with sources that are totally legit.
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APA Citation Style, 7th edition: Magazine Article
- General Style Guidelines
- One Author or Editor
- Two Authors or Editors
- Three to Five Authors or Editors
- Article or Chapter in an Edited Book
- Article in a Reference Book
- Edition other than the First
- Government Publication
- Journal Article with 1 Author
- Journal Article with 2 Authors
- Journal Article with 3–20 Authors
- Journal Article 21 or more Authors
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Basic Web Page
- Web page from a University site
- Web Page with No Author
- Entry in a Reference Work
- Government Document
- Film and Television
- Youtube Video
- Audio Podcast
- Electronic Image
- Secondary Sources
- Citation Support
- Avoiding Plagiarism
- Formatting Your Paper
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
What is a DOI? A DOI ( digital object identifier ) is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI Foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the internet.
NOTE: It is regarded as the most important part of the citation because it will accurately direct users to the specific article.
Think of it as a "digital fingerprint" or an article's DNA!
The rules for DOIs have been updated in the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. They should be included as URLs, rather than just the alphanumeric string.
- doi: 10.1186/1471-2288-12-114
- Retrieved from http://doi:10.1186/1471-2288-12-114
- FREE DOI Look-up (Cross-Ref)
- DOI System: FAQ
- Looking up a DOI
- DOI Flowchart
Magazine Article (p. 200)
- If you view a magazine article online you will need to include the URL of the magazine's home page in your reference.
- If you view a magazine article from within an article database you will have to do a quick search outside of the database to locate the home page for that particular magazine (p. 198). You would include the URL of the magazine's home page in your reference.
In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):
(Author Surname, Year)
In-Text Citation (Quotation):
(Author Surname, Year, page number)
Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year, Month Day). Article title: Subtitle. Magazine Title, Volume (issue), page range. URL of magazine home page [if viewed online].
In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):
(Henry & Mehta, 1990)
(Henry & Mehta, 1990, p. 30)
Henry, W. A., & Mehta, N. S. (1990, April 9). Beyond the melting pot. Time, 135, 28-31.
(Kutner, 2003, p. 26)
Kuttner, R. (2003, September 8). The great American pension-fund robbery. Business Week , 24-26. http://www.businessweek.com/
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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
MLA Works Cited: Electronic Sources (Web Publications)
Welcome to the Purdue OWL
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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
The MLA Handbook highlights principles over prescriptive practices. Essentially, a writer will need to take note of primary elements in every source, such as author, title, etc. and then assort them in a general format. Thus, by using this methodology, a writer will be able to cite any source regardless of whether it’s included in this list.
However, this guide will highlight a few concerns when citing digital sources in MLA style.
Best Practices for Managing Online Sources
Because online information can change or disappear, it is always a good idea to keep personal copies of important electronic information whenever possible. Downloading or even printing key documents ensures you have a stable backup. You can also use the Bookmark function in your web browser in order to build an easy-to-access reference for all of your project's sources (though this will not help you if the information is changed or deleted).
It is also wise to keep a record of when you first consult with each online source. MLA uses the phrase, “Accessed” to denote which date you accessed the web page when available or necessary. It is not required to do so, but it is encouraged (especially when there is no copyright date listed on a website).
Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA
Include a URL or web address to help readers locate your sources. Because web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the web (e.g., on multiple databases), MLA encourages the use of citing containers such as Youtube, JSTOR, Spotify, or Netflix in order to easily access and verify sources. However, MLA only requires the www. address, so eliminate all https:// when citing URLs.
Many scholarly journal articles found in databases include a DOI (digital object identifier). If a DOI is available, cite the DOI number instead of the URL.
Online newspapers and magazines sometimes include a “permalink,” which is a shortened, stable version of a URL. Look for a “share” or “cite this” button to see if a source includes a permalink. If you can find a permalink, use that instead of a URL.
Abbreviations Commonly Used with Electronic Sources
If page numbers are not available, use par. or pars. to denote paragraph numbers. Use these in place of the p. or pp. abbreviation. Par. would be used for a single paragraph, while pars. would be used for a span of two or more paragraphs.
Basic Style for Citations of Electronic Sources (Including Online Databases)
Here are some common features you should try to find before citing electronic sources in MLA style. Not every web page will provide all of the following information. However, collect as much of the following information as possible:
- Author and/or editor names (if available); last names first.
- "Article name in quotation marks."
- Title of the website, project, or book in italics.
- Any version numbers available, including editions (ed.), revisions, posting dates, volumes (vol.), or issue numbers (no.).
- Publisher information, including the publisher name and publishing date.
- Take note of any page numbers (p. or pp.) or paragraph numbers (par. or pars.).
- DOI (if available, precede it with "https://doi.org/"), otherwise a URL (without the https://) or permalink.
- Date you accessed the material (Date Accessed). While not required, saving this information it is highly recommended, especially when dealing with pages that change frequently or do not have a visible copyright date.
Use the following format:
Author. "Title." Title of container (self contained if book) , Other contributors (translators or editors), Version (edition), Number (vol. and/or no.), Publisher, Publication Date, Location (pages, paragraphs and/or URL, DOI or permalink). 2 nd container’s title , Other contributors, Version, Number, Publisher, Publication date, Location, Date of Access (if applicable).
Citing an Entire Web Site
When citing an entire website, follow the same format as listed above, but include a compiler name if no single author is available.
Author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), DOI (preferred), otherwise include a URL or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).
Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site . Version number, Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available), URL, DOI or permalink. Date of access (if applicable).
The Purdue OWL Family of Sites . The Writing Lab and OWL at Purdue and Purdue U, 2008, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl. Accessed 23 Apr. 2008.
Felluga, Dino. Guide to Literary and Critical Theory . Purdue U, 28 Nov. 2003, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/theory/. Accessed 10 May 2006.
Course or Department Websites
Give the instructor name. Then list the title of the course (or the school catalog designation for the course) in italics. Give appropriate department and school names as well, following the course title.
Felluga, Dino. Survey of the Literature of England . Purdue U, Aug. 2006, web.ics.purdue.edu/~felluga/241/241/Home.html. Accessed 31 May 2007.
English Department . Purdue U, 20 Apr. 2009, www.cla.purdue.edu/english/. Accessed 31 May 2015.
A Page on a Web Site
For an individual page on a Web site, list the author or alias if known, followed by an indication of the specific page or article being referenced. Usually, the title of the page or article appears in a header at the top of the page. Follow this with the information covered above for entire Web sites. If the publisher is the same as the website name, only list it once.
Lundman, Susan. “How to Make Vegetarian Chili.” eHow , www.ehow.com/how_10727_make-vegetarian-chili.html. Accessed 6 July 2015.
“ Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview. ” WebMD , 25 Sept. 2014, www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/athletes-foot-topic-overview.
Citations for e-books closely resemble those for physical books. Simply indicate that the book in question is an e-book by putting the term "e-book" in the "version" slot of the MLA template (i.e., after the author, the title of the source, the title of the container, and the names of any other contributors).
Silva, Paul J. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. E-book, American Psychological Association, 2007.
If the e-book is formatted for a specific reader device or service, you can indicate this by treating this information the same way you would treat a physical book's edition number. Often, this will mean replacing "e-book" with "[App/Service] ed."
Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince , translated by W. K. Marriott, Kindle ed., Library of Alexandria, 2018.
Note: The MLA considers the term "e-book" to refer to publications formatted specifically for reading with an e-book reader device (e.g., a Kindle) or a corresponding web application. These e-books will not have URLs or DOIs. If you are citing book content from an ordinary webpage with a URL, use the "A Page on a Web Site" format above.
An Image (Including a Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph)
Provide the artist's name, the work of art italicized, the date of creation, the institution and city where the work is housed. Follow this initial entry with the name of the Website in italics, and the date of access.
Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV . 1800. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado , www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-family-of-carlos-iv/f47898fc-aa1c-48f6-a779-71759e417e74. Accessed 22 May 2006.
Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine . 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive , www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/twittering_machine.jpg.html. Accessed May 2006.
If the work cited is available on the web only, then provide the name of the artist, the title of the work, and then follow the citation format for a website. If the work is posted via a username, use that username for the author.
Adams, Clifton R. “People Relax Beside a Swimming Pool at a Country Estate Near Phoenix, Arizona, 1928.” Found, National Geographic Creative, 2 June 2016, natgeofound.tumblr.com/.
An Article in a Web Magazine
Provide the author name, article name in quotation marks, title of the web magazine in italics, publisher name, publication date, URL, and the date of access.
Bernstein, Mark. “ 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web. ” A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites , 16 Aug. 2002, alistapart.com/article/writeliving. Accessed 4 May 2009.
An Article in an Online Scholarly Journal
For all online scholarly journals, provide the author(s) name(s), the name of the article in quotation marks, the title of the publication in italics, all volume and issue numbers, and the year of publication. Include a DOI if available, otherwise provide a URL or permalink to help readers locate the source.
Article in an Online-only Scholarly Journal
MLA requires a page range for articles that appear in Scholarly Journals. If the journal you are citing appears exclusively in an online format (i.e. there is no corresponding print publication) that does not make use of page numbers, indicate the URL or other location information.
Dolby, Nadine. “Research in Youth Culture and Policy: Current Conditions and Future Directions.” Social Work and Society: The International Online-Only Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, 2008, www.socwork.net/sws/article/view/60/362. Accessed 20 May 2009.
Article in an Online Scholarly Journal That Also Appears in Print
Cite articles in online scholarly journals that also appear in print as you would a scholarly journal in print, including the page range of the article . Provide the URL and the date of access.
Wheelis, Mark. “ Investigating Disease Outbreaks Under a Protocol to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. ” Emerging Infectious Diseases , vol. 6, no. 6, 2000, pp. 595-600, wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/6/6/00-0607_article. Accessed 8 Feb. 2009.
An Article from an Online Database (or Other Electronic Subscription Service)
Cite online databases (e.g. LexisNexis, ProQuest, JSTOR, ScienceDirect) and other subscription services as containers. Thus, provide the title of the database italicized before the DOI or URL. If a DOI is not provided, use the URL instead. Provide the date of access if you wish.
Alonso, Alvaro, and Julio A. Camargo. “ Toxicity of Nitrite to Three Species of Freshwater Invertebrates. ” Environmental Toxicology, vol. 21, no. 1, 3 Feb. 2006, pp. 90-94. Wiley Online Library , https://doi.org/10.1002/tox.20155. Accessed 26 May 2009.
Langhamer, Claire. “Love and Courtship in Mid-Twentieth-Century England.” Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 1, 2007, pp. 173-96. ProQuest , https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X06005966. Accessed 27 May 2009.
E-mail (including E-mail Interviews)
Give the author of the message, followed by the subject line in quotation marks. State to whom the message was sent with the phrase, “Received by” and the recipient’s name. Include the date the message was sent. Use standard capitalization.
Kunka, Andrew. “ Re: Modernist Literature. ” Received by John Watts, 15 Nov. 2000.
Neyhart, David. “ Re: Online Tutoring. ” Received by Joe Barbato, 1 Dec. 2016.
A Listserv, Discussion Group, or Blog Posting
Cite web postings as you would a standard web entry. Provide the author of the work, the title of the posting in quotation marks, the web site name in italics, the publisher, and the posting date. Follow with the date of access. Include screen names as author names when author name is not known. If both names are known, place the author’s name in brackets.
Author or compiler name (if available). “Posting Title.” Name of Site , Version number (if available), Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), URL. Date of access.
Salmar1515 [Sal Hernandez]. “Re: Best Strategy: Fenced Pastures vs. Max Number of Rooms?” BoardGameGeek , 29 Sept. 2008, boardgamegeek.com/thread/343929/best-strategy-fenced-pastures-vs-max-number-rooms. Accessed 5 Apr. 2009.
Begin with the user's Twitter handle in place of the author’s name. Next, place the tweet in its entirety in quotations, inserting a period after the tweet within the quotations. Include the date and time of posting, using the reader's time zone; separate the date and time with a comma and end with a period. Include the date accessed if you deem necessary.
@tombrokaw. “ SC demonstrated why all the debates are the engines of this campaign. ” Twitter, 22 Jan. 2012, 3:06 a.m., twitter.com/tombrokaw/status/160996868971704320.
@PurdueWLab. “ Spring break is around the corner, and all our locations will be open next week. ” Twitter , 5 Mar. 2012, 12:58 p.m., twitter.com/PurdueWLab/status/176728308736737282.
A YouTube Video
Video and audio sources need to be documented using the same basic guidelines for citing print sources in MLA style. Include as much descriptive information as necessary to help readers understand the type and nature of the source you are citing. If the author’s name is the same as the uploader, only cite the author once. If the author is different from the uploader, cite the author’s name before the title.
McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube , uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdzy9bWW3E.
“8 Hot Dog Gadgets put to the Test.” YouTube, uploaded by Crazy Russian Hacker, 6 June 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBlpjSEtELs.
A Comment on a Website or Article
List the username as the author. Use the phrase, Comment on, before the title. Use quotation marks around the article title. Name the publisher, date, time (listed on near the comment), and the URL.
Not Omniscient Enough. Comment on “ Flight Attendant Tells Passenger to ‘Shut Up’ After Argument Over Pasta. ” ABC News, 9 Jun 2016, 4:00 p.m., abcnews.go.com/US/flight-attendant-tells-passenger-shut-argument-pasta/story?id=39704050.
Generate accurate APA citations for free
- Knowledge Base
- How to cite a magazine article in APA Style
How to Cite a Magazine Article in APA Style | Format & Examples
Published on February 1, 2021 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 27, 2023.
To cite a print magazine article in APA Style , list the author’s name, the publication date, the article title, the magazine name, the volume and issue numbers if available, and the page range of the article.
Our free APA Citation Generator can help you create accurate citations for magazine articles.
Cite a magazine article in APA Style now:
Table of contents, citing online magazine articles, frequently asked questions about apa style citations.
To cite an online magazine article, follow the print format but add the URL at the end. Volume and issue numbers, as well as the page range, may be omitted if they’re not stated anywhere.
More academic magazines may list a DOI , much like a journal article . Always use a DOI if one is available; otherwise, try to find a stable URL on the page (e.g. under a “Share” button).
Are your APA in-text citations flawless?
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Include the DOI at the very end of the APA reference entry . If you’re using the 6th edition APA guidelines, the DOI is preceded by the label “doi:”. In the 7th edition , the DOI is preceded by ‘https://doi.org/’.
- 6th edition: doi: 10.1177/0894439316660340
- 7th edition: https://doi.org/ 10.1177/0894439316660340
APA citation example (7th edition)
Hawi, N. S., & Samaha, M. (2016). The relations among social media addiction, self-esteem, and life satisfaction in university students. Social Science Computer Review , 35 (5), 576–586. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439316660340
When no individual author name is listed, but the source can clearly be attributed to a specific organization—e.g., a press release by a charity, a report by an agency, or a page from a company’s website—use the organization’s name as the author in the reference entry and APA in-text citations .
When no author at all can be determined—e.g. a collaboratively edited wiki or an online article published anonymously—use the title in place of the author. In the in-text citation, put the title in quotation marks if it appears in plain text in the reference list, and in italics if it appears in italics in the reference list. Shorten it if necessary.
When you quote or paraphrase a specific passage from a source, you need to indicate the location of the passage in your APA in-text citation . If there are no page numbers (e.g. when citing a website ) but the text is long, you can instead use section headings, paragraph numbers, or a combination of the two:
(Caulfield, 2019, Linking section, para. 1).
Section headings can be shortened if necessary. Kindle location numbers should not be used in ebook citations , as they are unreliable.
If you are referring to the source as a whole, it’s not necessary to include a page number or other marker.
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Caulfield, J. (2023, December 27). How to Cite a Magazine Article in APA Style | Format & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-examples/magazine-article/
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Citing Magazine Articles (Retrieved Electronically) in APA Format
Magazine articles that are available online usually don't have volume or issue numbers and the focus is making sure to add the magazine name in the source, followed by the website. Remember you can always shorten a website using tinyurl.com if the link is super long.
Online Magazine Article
Wenk, G. (2021, March 29). This is your brain on food . Psychology Today . https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-brain-food/202103/is-your-brain-food
In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):
In-Text Citation (Direct Quote):
(Wenk, 2021, "A Bad Diet Can Impair Brain Function" section).
Citing Magazine Articles (Print Format) in APA Format
When you are citing a print magazine, you may or may not have all of the information listed in the table above and the example below. Some magazines only have volume numbers (and no issue numbers), some are only published once a year, some have corresponding websites and some do not. You are only required to provide what can be found in the print magazine, usually if it has a volume and issue number, it can be found in the front pages.
Print Magazine Article
Patton, K. (2021, March 24). 400 years in four hours. Christian Century, 138 (6), 10-11.
(Patton, 2021, p. 10).
Carrie Forbes, MLS
Citation information has been adapted from the APA Manual (7th Edition). Please refer to page 320 of the APA Manual (7th Edition) for more information.
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English Language Requirement and Educational Inequality: Evidence from 16 Million College Applicants in China
This paper studies the unintended effect of English language requirement on educational inequality by investigating how the staggered rollout of English listening tests in China’s high-stakes National College Entrance Exam (NCEE) affected the rural-urban gap in college access. Leveraging administrative data covering the universe of NCEE participants between 1999 and 2003, we find that the introduction of English listening tests significantly lowered rural students’ exam score percentile ranks relative to their urban counterparts, resulting in a 30% increase in the rural-urban gap in college access. Our back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that, as a result of this policy change, more than 54,000 rural students lost college seats to their urban peers between 1999 and 2003, and another 11,000 rural students who elite colleges could have admitted ended up in non-elite colleges, causing them significant future income losses.
I have read the NBER disclosure policy and attest that this acknowledgment discloses all sources of funding and all material and relevant financial relationships. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
MARC RIS BibTeΧ
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In addition to working papers , the NBER disseminates affiliates’ latest findings through a range of free periodicals — the NBER Reporter , the NBER Digest , the Bulletin on Retirement and Disability , the Bulletin on Health , and the Bulletin on Entrepreneurship — as well as online conference reports , video lectures , and interviews .
Print vs Digital Magazines: What Do Readers Prefer?
For years, we have been engaged in the print vs digital magazines debate. The swings back and forth as we pit the two forms of publication against one another in a never-ending question of “which one is better?”
But what if we told you these two methods weren’t enemies, but allies?
There are a lot of opinions floating around on the internet regarding print and digital magazines means.
Discover why as we dive deep into this hot topic and reveal the advantages of using digital magazines to either enhance print publications or simply start a magazine from scratch.
The Print vs Digital Magazines Debate
As professional publishers, it’s important to consider what your readers prefer when it comes to print vs digital magazines. While print magazines have their perks, it’s important to remember that digital magazines provide ease and accessibility that can’t be matched by print.
According to a survey conducted by Marketing Charts in 2022, more US adults (68.5%) reported reading physical magazines, with 3 in 10 reading them weekly and 8.4% daily. But fewer people access magazines online compared to news (36.1% vs. 18% never access them). Only about one-third access both magazine apps and websites weekly, not significantly higher than those who read print magazines.
Even though the survey showed that more people still read physical magazines, it’s important to know that the market for advertising in magazines is changing.
Magazine advertising is shifting to digital faster than newspapers, with PwC predicting that digital ad spend for consumer magazines will surpass print ad spend in 2025 , a year earlier than newspapers.
To tap into the digital market, print publications can deliver digital versions to subscribers with no printing or delivery costs. This brings in profit to add to existing print subscribers, and a cheaper digital-only subscription can attract new readers.
The Perks of Print Magazines
Of course, print magazines still have their perks. There’s something special about holding a physical copy of a magazine in your hands and flipping through the pages. But by offering digital versions of your publication, you’re not only expanding your potential reader base, but you’re also providing an additional level of convenience and accessibility.
While the internet is a great resource and one many people use to read up on the news and various click bait or niche stories, print magazines are viewed as more leisurely formats.
Many readers classify sitting down and reading a physical magazine as a form of relaxation. It gives them a break from the screen they spend a good portion of their day staring at while at work.
Yet where it excels, it also lacks. Digital magazines have many advantages, one of the primary ones being convenience.
The Perks of Digital Magazines
Digital magazines offer unique opportunities to create an immersive reading experience by integrating multimedia elements like audio and videos.
Additionally, digital magazines provide other benefits . For example, tracking reader engagement through analytics tools, refining future content, and being accessible anytime and anywhere.
Compared to print publications, digital magazines have the advantage of wider distribution channels and lower start-up costs. Therefore, creating a digital magazine can help expand readership, and if the demand exists, publishers can consider print issues.
Some Things Work Better Together
After reading this, can you really say the battle of print vs digital is one worth arguing? Or is it time to put away the gloves and start seeing their synergy?
Both print and digital mediums have their place. With unique advantages to each, you can build your publication strategy around the pros that work best for your target audience.
In most cases, having both formats benefits your business, so why fight it? If you own a print publication, let digital work hand-in-hand with you to grow your readership.
Translate Your Content into Digital Publications with Ease
Stop taking sides on the print vs digital debate and take advantage of a tool that can help you expand your readership. Our user-friendly digital publishing tool makes creating a digital magazine easy.
Translate your print publication into a digital format or simply dive straight into the advantageous realm of digital publication! We give you the keys to make it happen.
Schedule a call with MagLoft , explore your options, and start creating today.
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OpenAI Unveils A.I. That Instantly Generates Eye-Popping Videos
The start-up is sharing the new technology, called Sora, with a small group of early testers as it tries to understand the potential dangers.
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By Cade Metz
Reporting from San Francisco
In April, a New York start-up called Runway AI unveiled technology that let people generate videos, like a cow at a birthday party or a dog chatting on a smartphone, simply by typing a sentence into a box on a computer screen.
The four-second videos were blurry, choppy, distorted and disturbing. But they were a clear sign that artificial intelligence technologies would generate increasingly convincing videos in the months and years to come.
Just 10 months later, the San Francisco start-up OpenAI has unveiled a similar system that creates videos that look as if they were lifted from a Hollywood movie. A demonstration included short videos — created in minutes — of woolly mammoths trotting through a snowy meadow, a monster gazing at a melting candle and a Tokyo street scene seemingly shot by a camera swooping across the city.
OpenAI, the company behind the ChatGPT chatbot and the still-image generator DALL-E , is among the many companies racing to improve this kind of instant video generator, including start-ups like Runway and tech giants like Google and Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram. The technology could speed the work of seasoned moviemakers, while replacing less experienced digital artists entirely.
It could also become a quick and inexpensive way of creating online disinformation, making it even harder to tell what’s real on the internet.
“I am absolutely terrified that this kind of thing will sway a narrowly contested election,” said Oren Etzioni, a professor at the University of Washington who specializes in artificial intelligence. He is also the founder of True Media, a nonprofit working to identify disinformation online in political campaigns.
OpenAI calls its new system Sora, after the Japanese word for sky. The team behind the technology, including the researchers Tim Brooks and Bill Peebles, chose the name because it “evokes the idea of limitless creative potential.”
In an interview, they also said the company was not yet releasing Sora to the public because it was still working to understand the system’s dangers. Instead, OpenAI is sharing the technology with a small group of academics and other outside researchers who will “red team” it, a term for looking for ways it can be misused.
“The intention here is to give a preview of what is on the horizon, so that people can see the capabilities of this technology — and we can get feedback,” Dr. Brooks said.
OpenAI is already tagging videos produced by the system with watermarks that identify them as being generated by A.I . But the company acknowledges that these can be removed. They can also be difficult to spot. (The New York Times added “Generated by A.I.” watermarks to the videos with this story.)
The system is an example of generative A.I., which can instantly create text, images and sounds. Like other generative A.I. technologies, OpenAI’s system learns by analyzing digital data — in this case, videos and captions describing what those videos contain.
OpenAI declined to say how many videos the system learned from or where they came from, except to say the training included both publicly available videos and videos that were licensed from copyright holders. The company says little about the data used to train its technologies, most likely because it wants to maintain an advantage over competitors — and has been sued multiple times for using copyrighted material.
(The New York Times sued OpenAI and its partner, Microsoft, in December, claiming copyright infringement of news content related to A.I. systems.)
Sora generates videos in response to short descriptions, like “a gorgeously rendered papercraft world of a coral reef, rife with colorful fish and sea creatures.” Though the videos can be impressive, they are not always perfect and may include strange and illogical images. The system, for example, recently generated a video of someone eating a cookie — but the cookie never got any smaller.
DALL-E, Midjourney and other still-image generators have improved so quickly over the past few years that they are now producing images nearly indistinguishable from photographs. This has made it harder to identify disinformation online, and many digital artists are complaining that it has made it harder for them to find work.
“We all laughed in 2022 when Midjourney first came out and said, ‘Oh, that’s cute,’” said Reid Southen, a movie concept artist in Michigan. “Now people are losing their jobs to Midjourney.”
Cade Metz writes about artificial intelligence, driverless cars, robotics, virtual reality and other emerging areas of technology. More about Cade Metz
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