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Urban Studies

Research Databases

What are article databases? Collections of articles found in journals and newspapers. Some also include videos, ebooks and images.

Why use our databases and not websites? Many websites are created or sponsored by companies with the intent to sell products or services.  Their information may be inaccurate or biased.

The following is a list of recommended databases

If you are looking for a particular journal, go to Journals page.

Please note: Off-site access to these databases requires a valid St. Francis College login. 

Newspaper Databases

Articles from the Internet

Here are two additional sources (from the Internet) to help you find articles.

Here is a video on how to use Google Scholar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi6KcTxJJ2g

Research Tip

Successful information research requires you to know how to phrase your topic to match those of the research system so that the system can find relevant results. This is where keywords come in handy. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a keyword as "a word (usually one of several) chosen to indicate or represent the content of a larger document, text, record, etc., in an index, catalog, or database." 

How to find keywords? Start your search with two or three most significant words that describe your topic. Check out a few results that seem relevant. Look at the "Subjects" terms in these results. Now use these terms to search. Another method is to use the database's thesaurus. Not all databases have one and sometimes you click a link or a tab to find it. For example, a database called ProQuest has it on the "Advanced Search" page. 

Here is a keyword generator to help you create keywords. 

Example of keyword vs. subject term: government housing projects vs. public housing

What're Scholarly Articles?

Scholarly, peer-reviewed, or refereed articles are written by scholars or experts in a particular discipline. The authors' peers review the article before it gets published in a journal (see definition below.) This process adds more credibility and accuracy to the claims in the article.

There are a dozen ways to distinguish scholarly journals from other types of periodicals

Three key specifications are: Who wrote it? What is the article’s structure? Is there a list of works cited?

Here is an interactive look at the purpose of each section within a scholarly article. The Anatomy of a Scholar Article.

And here is a 3-question test to help you. Is this Article Scholarly?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, journals are "any periodical publication containing news or dealing with matters of current interest in any particular sphere."

What's an Abstract of an Article?

An abstract of an article summarizes the article. Sometimes you may only see an abstract and not the full-text of the article. The reason is our subscriptions do not have full-text access to every result in a particular database. If you search our catalog and find only an abstract, you can request the article through our interlibrary loan service. And if you search a database and find only an abstract, try to search for the article with its full title in our catalog. This allows you to search all of our databases for it.