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POLIT/AFCNA 234 Black Metropolis: From MLK to Obama: Finding Articles

Check Your Knowledge: What Are Periodicals?

Periodicals are publications that are published in a series such as magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers. For example, Time (magazine), the Journal of Psychology (scholarly journal), and the Chicago Tribune (newspaper) are periodicals.  Periodicals are issued at regular intervals i.e. daily, weekly, monthly or periodically hence the name.

Academic Journals

Here are a few examples of journals that have articles on Black Chicago. You can locate other journals by using the journal locator

Journal of Urban History: "provides scholars and professionals with the latest research, analyses, and discussion on the history of cities and urban societies throughout the world. JUH presents original research by distinguished authors from the variety of fields concerned with urban history. Each insightful issue offers the latest scholarship on such topics as public housing, migration, urban growth, and more."


Urban Affairs Review: "Urban Affairs Review is a peer-reviewed, bi-monthly journal focused on questions of politics, governance, and public policy specifically as they relate to cities and/or their regions. Submissions of empirical and comparative research from different scholarly disciplines and methodological perspectives are encouraged.

Antipode: "Peer reviewed coverage of radical geography theory and research, particularly that which contributes to politics and practice. The journals ecumenical approach aims to challenge and dominant orthodox views of the world through debate and scholarship."

Determine If An Article Is "Peer Reviewed" Or "Scholarly"

Scholarly journals are also called academic, peer-reviewed or refereed journals.These are journals that academics submit articles to for other scholars, experts or academics peers in their field to review and comment. These reviewers must agree that the article represents properly conducted original research or writing before it can be published. 

What to look for:

  • abstract (descriptive summary)
  • footnotes or bibliographies
  • institutions author(s) are from, ex. universities, research institutions, think tanks 
  • main point is to report on original research or experimentation

Examples of scholarly journals: 

American Economic Review

Applied Geography

Archives of Sexual Behavior

JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association

Journal of Theoretical Biology

For more information, check out this helpful guide from Cornell University: Distinguishing Scholarly Journals From Other Periodicals

Click this link for a helpful chart that explains the differences between scholarly journals, popular magazines, and trade publications from San Diego State University. Scroll towards the middle of the page for the chart. 

Check Your Knowledge: What Is A Database and an Index?


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Database - a collection of information in electronic format. Most of the library's databases are periodical indexes that help you identify articles published in journals.  We also have databases that provide statistical information.

Index - a list of topics mentioned in a book (usually at the end of the book). A periodical index is used to identify articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers. 

Useful Databases

Discover: A combined database made up of many individual resources including the library catalog and the majority of our subject-specific databases.

WorldCat: A shared catalog of books and other materials in libraries worldwide. Use the "MH Links & Interlibrary Loan" button to make an interlibrary loan request for any title found in WorldCat that's not held in the Five Colleges.

PAIS International: Indexes articles, books, conference proceedings, and government documents relating to public affairs and international relations. Available online for literature published since 1915.

Ethnic NewsWatch: Current resource of full-text newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives.

 America: History and Life: Selective indexing includes over a thousand journals dating back to 1964. Focus is on the history and life of the United States and Canada.

For a full list of databases, please click here: Database A-Z.

Locate the Full Text of An Article Found In A Database

Clicking the MHLinks button for an article will help you locate the full text.

  • available online: click direct link
  • available in print: follow the link to search catalog, click "call numbers and availability" for years available.  Please note: humanities journals are located in the library on floor 2 1/2, and the science journals can be found on the Miles-Smith floor, which is the second floor
  • not available at MHC: click "request via Illiad" to have it delivered electronically via interlibrary loan 

Newspapers and Online Media Outlets

Lexis Nexis is a database that contains full text of current US and Foreign Language newspapers and legal publications.

Chicago Defender contains the full text of the back issues of the African American newspaper, Chicago Defender, from 1910 to 1975. You can also access the Chicago Defender's website by clicking this link



Contains the full text of the back issues of the Chicago Tribune from 1849 to 1970. This link has recent issues of the Chicago Tribune from 1985 to the present. You can also access the Chicago Tribune website by clicking this link



An alternative weekly newspaper and online website that covers news, politics, arts and culture, and music in Chicago. 


A print magazine and online news site covering housing, politics, arts and culture, food, and music on the South Side of Chicago. 


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Chicago Sun-Times: a daily newspaper focused on Chicago and the Chicagoland area. Some articles (published between 1985-2007) can be accessed through Pro-Quest and PressReader (recent/curent issues). 


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The Chicago Reporter : "Founded on the heels of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, The Chicago Reporter confronts racial and economic inequality, using the power of investigative journalism. Our mission is national but grounded in Chicago, one of the most segregated cities in the nation and a bellwether for urban policies."


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