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What are journals and databases?

You've probably heard the phrase "scholarly articles" before. But what exactly does that mean? 

Researchers often publish the results of their work in journals. There are many journals published on almost every topic imaginable, and they are often referred to as "scholarly journals," or "peer-reviewed journals." 

Journals contain articles on a specific subject written by scholars in the field. The articles are usually on very specific, specialized topics. For example, recent articles published in The Philosophical Review include "A Good Friend Will Help You Move a Body: Friendship and the Problem of Moral Disagreement" by Daniel Koltonski and "Probabilistic Knowledge and Cognitive Ability" by Jason Konek. 

Scholarly articles can be very challenging to read if you're not familiar with the words and ideas that are commonly used by writers and researchers in the field. But they are also a great way to get to know what ideas, questions, and concerns are important in the field at any given time. 

Databases are collections of articles published in many of the journals in a particular field. They allow you to search across many journals at once for articles on a specific topic. Libraries pay for access to databases, and they provide one of the best ways to access current research on a topic. 


Key Databases for Philosophy