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This is a brief introduction to research in the Library, how to decide on a research topic, how to find relevant materials and how to cite them.

Library Databases

The SMC Library subscribes to a variety of information resources which include content from journals, magazines, newspapers, reference works and other materials.  You can acccess this material from on campus or at home. Here are lists of the databases in our collection.


Academic/Scholarly Journals

  • written by experts and scholars in their particular fields
  • may be approved for publication by experts and scholars (referred/peer-reviewed)
  • latest research on your topic
  • lengthy and in depth
  • include charts, graphs, and long bibliographies      
  • use specialized language and jargon

Popular Periodicals

Periodicals include magazines, and newspapers and are published at regular intervals, such as weekly, monthly or quarterly.

Magazines tend to be popular periodicals aimed at the general public, and usually do not offer an in-depth analysis of the topic.  Magazines are excellent sources for current events and a summary of a topic, yet magazines generally do not provide in-depth analysis of a subject.

Newspapers are usually published every day or every week and contain the news of the day, commentary, feature articles and advertising.  Newspapers are good sources to consult for very recent events and for local area news.