Normandale Community College

Normandale Community College

Welcome to Normandale Library
Use this page to find research resources for your class.
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Find Articles
Academic Search Premier Restricted Resource
Academic Search PremierAcademic Search Premier is a multi-disciplinary database designed specifically for academic institutions. It includes articles from academic journals, popular magazines, and major newspapers.

ScienceDirect College Ed.: Health & Life Sciences Journal Collection Restricted Resource
Science DirectThe Health & Life Sciences Journal Collection offers leading literature online in the health and life sciences, including health and nursing professions, biology, and environmental sciences.

BioOne Restricted Resource
BioOneSearch and access full text and full image articles from over 60 scholarly journals about biological, ecological, and environmental sciences.

Science (Gale OneFile) Restricted Resource
Science (Gale OneFile)A collection of over 200 journals, providing researchers with the information needed to stay current on the latest scientific developments.

Science Magazine Restricted Resource
Science Magazine / AAASOnline version of the journal Science published by the AAAS.

MEDLINE/PubMed Unrestricted Resource
PubMed contains citations to articles in MEDLINE and other sources. Selected full text articles available. Click the Find Full Text button with the Normandale logo to see if the full text of the article is available in another database.
Types of Sources
Within the broad discourse of a field, there are many different kinds of sources. In academic writing, we usually divide sources into academic or scholarly sources, and popular sources. One central difference is that academic and scholarly sources go through a process called peer review, while popular sources do not.

What is the difference between scholarly sources and popular sources? The Georgetown University Library has a good comparison between the two here.

Popular Sources
  • Written by non-experts for a general audience
  • Published in popular magazines or newspapers (Time, Popular Mechanics, The New York Times)
  • Not edited or reviewed by experts before publication
  • Often contain no references
  • Often have advertising or look flashy and eye-catching
Scholarly Sources
  • Written by experts (usually professors) for an academic audience
  • Published in academic journals (The Journal of Academic Emergency Medicine, PMLA, The New England Journal of Medicine)
  • Edited and reviewed by other experts before publication
  • Contain references
  • Have minimal or no advertising; look very plain.

What is peer review? The publisher Elsevier has a good overview here. Peer review is the process by which an academic article is reviewed and edited before it is published in an academic journal. It is reviewed by other experts in the field. If it doesn't meet high academic standards or contains bad information, it is sent back to the author for revision, or outright rejected. This process ensures that only the best articles are published by academic journals.

Within scholarly sources, there is also the distinction between primary sources and secondary sources. Within the sciences, this is offen the difference between original research and reviews. The BMCC library has a good overview of the difference between primary and secondary sources here

Primary Research
  • Experiments, clinical trials, original research conducted by the authors.
  • Contains sections about methodology, materials, results, and discussion.

Reviews/Secondary Sources
  • Reviews and interprets someone else's original research.
  • Summarizes multiple different studies.
  • Does not contain methodology, results, or discussion sections.
Evaluate Your Sources
Evaluate each source you use with CAPPS!
Consider the source's –
C = Currency - When was this written?
A = Author - Who wrote this and what are their credentials? 
P = Publication - Who published this and are they reputable?
P = Point of View - What is the purpose or point-of-view of the source?
S = Sources - Does the source cite their facts or have references?
More info about CAPPS pdf
Learn About Scholarly Publishing
Peer Review video by North Carolina State University Library

Format of a Research Article video by University of Texas at San Antonio Library
Ask a Librarian
Questions? Ask us!Ask Us

Call or e-mail a librarian if you need further research assistance. We're happy to help!

  (952) 358-8290


Luke Mosher
Reference and Instruction Librarian

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Use Library Resources Off Campus
Access Databases from Off Campus
In order to access databases and other Library resources from off campus, login with your StarID and password when prompted.  Off-campus access to library databases is only available to current Normandale students, staff, and faculty.
Cite Your Sources
APA Quick Guide
A guide to APA citation format based on the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual.

APA Formatting and Style Guide (OWL at Purdue)
APA (American Psychological Association) is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page.

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