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What Is a Periodical Index / Database?

A periodical index / database is a listing of articles from scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers. Periodical indexes are available in both printed and electronic format. Printed indexes such as Reader’s Guide are arranged alphabetically on the index shelves located on the first floor of the library. To see the available electronic indexes / databases (online) along with their descriptions, go to the Databases link on the Library website.

Different indexes cover different subject areas. In order to find articles related to your topic, you need to choose an appropriate index. Sometimes the name of the index will indicate what subject area it covers, for example, Criminal Justice Periodical Index, and Health Reference Center-Academic. Indexes also differ in the materials (books or articles) they include and what kind of information they provide (citation, abstract, or full-text).

Most of the printed indexes are subject indexes. Materials are listed alphabetically under the topic they cover. In online databases, you can search by subject as well by keyword, title, author, or periodical title.

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