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Secondary Sources

In the the discipline of Philosophy, journal articles are secondary sources. They are analyses and discussions of philosophical texts and concepts written by researchers from differing perspectives. Each article contributes to the ongoing discussion within the discipline.

When starting the study of Philosophy, you should consult Background Information sources, such as Encyclopedias and Handbooks to create the context you need to engage with the analyses provided in publications such as journal articles.

What is a journal article?

journal is a type of periodical.

Periodicals are publications that are provided on a regular basis (ie: annually, quarterly, weekly, daily). 

There are two major types of periodical publications: scholarly and popular. 
It is important to be aware of the differences between them before you search for articles in databases. Academic journals include scholarly articles by researchers. Newspapers and magazines are popular press titles.

Information and Publications (U of A Libraries Tutorials)

Philosophy Databases - Find articles

Philosophy Databases:

Peer Review

Many scholarly journal articles are subject to peer review

Before they are published, articles that are peer reviewed or refereed are read and critiqued by other philosophers.

Search in Ulrich's to find out whether a journal is peer reviewed.

How to find journal articles on your topic

Not all databases are the same:

→some are full text: articles can be read online and printed, emailed, or saved

→some contain a mix of citations and full text

→some contain only citations

When the full text of your article is not linked in the database, click on 

If Get It links are not included for citations, look up the title of the journal or book that you need in the Library Catalogue.
→ Ask Us for help.