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HIST 355 – Immigration and Oral History: Databases

Dr. Monique Laney

Core databases

What is a secondary source?

Secondary sources are materials that have been created by someone such as a historian or a researcher. Secondary sources interpret and analyze data gathered from primary sources. They are one or more steps removed from the time of the event. Examples of secondary sources include:

  • Books
  • Newspaper or journal articles which interpret or reviews findings
  • The research paper you will write

Scholarly vs Popular

When conducting your research, it is important for you to distinguish between journal articles and magazine articles.

Journal articles are usually referred to as "scholarly," while magazine articles are commonly considered "popular." Consider these points when differentiating between journals and magazines.


Scholarly Journal

Popular Magazine


Academics and professionals

General public


Experts and/or specialists

Journalists and/or freelance writers

Editorial Review/Peer Review

Journal editorial board and peer reviewers.

Professional editors

References/ Works cited


Not necessary