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Biological Sciences: Articles (General)

Resources for biology, environmental science, fisheries, and medical technology.

Finding Journal Articles at MSU Guide

See our Journal Articles guide to learn more about finding articles for your research.

Journal Databases (General Science)

Journal Databases (General)

Scholarly Journal Articles Compared to Magazines

Use the chart below to help you distinguish between scholarly journal articles and popular magazines.





Includes notes and/or bibliography

Few references or no bibliography


Written for experts, shows research

Written for average reader


Usually more than 5 pages

Often less than 5 pages


Few or none; if any, advertising books and other "scholarly" items

Many, often in color


Mostly text and charts

Glossy, many pictures often in color


Usually only available through a library (often via a library's website)

Title can be found at newsstand or through a bookstore


New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Modern History 

Newsweek, Maxim, Time, Good Housekeeping

See also our Differences Between Scholarly Journals & Popular Magazines guide (PDF format).

Find a Journal, Magazine, or Newspaper

The following search box lists journals, magazines and newspapers available (both print and electronic) from Memorial Library. This link is most useful when you have a citation for a journal and would like to see if we own it.

Access one journal, magazine, or newspaper

What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

What is a “peer-reviewed” journal?

  • Submissions are usually reviewed by professionals, such as professors, research scientists, or other scholars
  • The scholarly professionals or “peers” have qualifications and interests similar to the authors
  • Acceptance for publication is usually selective
  • An editorial board may manage the journal, its contents, and the review process
  • The journal is often searchable in prominent indexes within the discipline

Common elements of a scholarly or “peer-reviewed” journal article

Abstract – What is this article about? The abstract is a concise summary.

Introduction – What is the key problem, issue, or question?

Method – How will the author investigate the problem? With a laboratory test? Or a survey? Or another type of study?

Results – Research findings, including observations, statistics, graphs, etc.

Discussion / Conclusion – What did the author learn? What did the study prove? What questions are still unanswered?

References – What other scholarly articles did the author consult when conducting this research and writing this article?

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