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Research Guides

GGR107: Environment, Food and People

What is a journal article?

A "journal article" or "scholarly article" is an article published in a journal with an academic focus and written by an expert on the topic.

Many of these academic journals are peer reviewed.

Scholarly vs. popular articles

Scholarly journal articles are very different from magazine or newspaper articles.

Magazines Scholarly Journals
Purpose to entertain, inform, sell, or present a point of view to report on research or other scholarly work
Format many pictures, advertisements graphs, statistics, charts (very few ads)
Style concise, sensational writing style lengthy, technical terminology
Author probably a paid journalist or freelancer with no specific qualifications in the subject of the article,  sometimes anonymously published an expert on the topic of the article.  will include the name, position, and institution
Editors staff editor, probably another journalist other experts working in the same field
References no footnotes or bibliography sources always cited.  extensive list

Finding journal articles

Finding articles by topic using LibrarySearch

LibrarySearch can be a good starting point for discovering some journal articles to get started. However, if you find it difficult to narrow your results, consider using one of the subject-specific databases recommended below.

Finding articles by title in LibrarySearch

Once you have found a quality source, have a look in the bibliography/works cited list - the authors may have referenced other sources that are also relevant for your topic. If you find a citation you are interested in, check LibrarySearch to identify whether we have access to that article at U of T.

Subject Databases: GEOBASE & more

If you find it difficult to narrow your search results in LibrarySearch, consider using a subject-specific database.

To access article database, start from the library's homepage and select Databases.

Then select Article Databases by Subject A-Z. Select a subject from the drop-down list (such as Geography or Food studies). The recommended databases for that subject area will display. 


Databases for Geography, Agriculture & Food Science

Tip: Try Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Searches scholarly articles, Google Books and quasi-scholarly material, harnessing the power of a Google search. Helpful for citation searching: it allows you to link to works that cite the articles in your results list (click on Cited by).

Note: don't pay for any articles! Go back to the library to get the full-text of your sources.

Article Search FAQs