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Georgia History: Articles

About Databases

The most efficient way to find articles on a topic is to search a database - you can search across many journals at once.

Many history databases also search additional types of secondary literature - book reviews, book chapters, dissertations, etc.

Each database searches different sources; usually you'll want to search several databases.

If you are off campus you will be prompted for your Campus ID/password.

Getting the Full Article

1) First, look for a direct link to the article. Specifically, look for links that say "HTML Full Text" or "PDF Full Text."

2) If you don't see one of these links, look for a button next to article you want. Clicking this button will check for full text availability outside of the database you are currently searching. A new window will open and depending on what full text formats are available through the library, you will be see several link options:

Full Text Online
Means that electronic full text of the article is available from one of GSU Library's full text providers. Click this link to proceed to full text provider's site where you will look for a link to the article. If you are off campus, you will probably be asked for your CampusID/password. Once on the full text provider site, you may need to "drill down" to a specific volume/issue to access full text.

We May Have a Copy in Print
If this link appears as the first option, then no electronic full text is available. However, the library may have a print copy of the article. Clicking this link will search the GSU Library catalog, GIL, to see if the library owns any print volumes of the journal in which the article is published. If so, you will need to check the Recent Issues or Volumes Owned fields to see what volumes/issues are available.

Request This Item Through Interlibrary Loan
If neither electronic nor print access is available at GSU Library, you can click this link to access Illiad, GSU Library's system for requesting articles (and other materials) from other libraries. This service is free for GSU students/employees.

Occasionally, people encounter problems trying to access articles from home using the "Find It @ GSU" button. Sometimes pop-up blockers prevent the "Find It" window from opening, so check your browser settings. Additional information on the "Find It @ GSU" button feature can be found here.

Ask a librarian for help if you can't find what you need!

Essential History Databases

Start with these to find secondary source articles on your topic. For more databases, see related research guides or our A-Z database list.

For primary source (generally older) articles, consult the Primary Sources tab above.

Use the Power of Subject Headings

Like books, articles in databases assigned one or more subject headings. These are standardized terms that ensure that articles on the same topic can be found even if the keywords are different, as with The US Civil War and The War Between the States.

Be sure to select "Subject" or "Subject Heading" instead of "Author" or "Title" when you search databases for particular topics.

When you find a good article, look at its subject headings in the database record. Follow these to list other items on that topic. Or, use the subject heading terms in a new keyword search.

Examples of broad subject headings:

  • Georgia History Colonial period ca. 1600-1775
  • African Americans Georgia 
  • Atlanta (Ga.) History (or another city: Savannah, for example)
  • Fulton County (Ga.) History
  • Atlantic Coast (Ga.) History
  • Georgia Genealogy
  • Georgia Census
  • Freedmen Georgia

​Examples of more specific searches -- persons, places, events, topics, phenomena:

  • Sherman's March to the Sea
  • Oglethorpe, James, 1696-1785
  • Trail of Tears, 1838-1839
  • Sequoyah, 1770?-1843
  • Auburn Avenue (Atlanta, Ga.)
  • Textile workers Georgia

What is Peer-reviewed?

Journals published by professional associations or a university press will have a panel of scholars who evaluate articles submitted for publication. In other words, these editorial panels are comprised of the author's peers. If approved for publication the panel has agreed the article will advance the thinking within the discipline.

Peer-reviewed journals are also called scholarly or refereed (as opposed to popular and trade journals).

Strategies for Finding Peer-reviewed Articles

Limit database searches to peer-reviewed articles
Databases that contain multiple types of journal articles often have options to limit your search to scholarly articles. In EBSCOhost databases, look for this option on the bottom half of the Advanced Search screen. There is no peer-review search limit option in JStor or ProjectMuse.
Search Ulrich's Periodicals Directory
If you're ever unsure whether an article is peer-reviewed, you can look up the journal title in Ulrich's Periodicals Directory (see link below). Select Title (Exact) in the top right Quick Search box and enter the name of the journal. A referee jersey icon will appear next to the journal title if it is peer-reviewed.
Look for signs indicating it's peer-reviewed
This comparison chart can help you distinguish between peer-reviewed, popular and trade journals.