Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Sample periodical citation:

Bush, V. (1945). As We May Think. Atlantic Monthly, 176. Retrieved from


Periodical – a publication that is released part by part, issue by issue, on a scheduled basis (daily, monthly, quarterly, yearly) rather than all at once like a book. Newspapers, magazines, and journals are all periodicals.

Issue – One full part of a periodical; a single instance of that periodical, such as the July 1945 issue of Atlantic Monthly magazine.

Volume – A collection of issues. Before the digital age, periodicals were bound into volumes for easier storage and reference. Volumes usually have numbers: in the example above, the article “As We May Think” was collected into Volume 176 of Atlantic Monthly.

Edition – A version; something that is mostly the same, with a small set of significant differences. Many newspapers release different editions in different countries, for instance. The term “edition” is also important in books.


Google News – allows you to search across many, many newspapers worldwide. Best for very recent news. Also allows you to create a personalized news page and to look at non-U.S. editions of newspapers.

Google News Archive Search – Allows you to search a limited number of newspapers easily; best for content after 2005, but does contain some earlier items.

Proquest Historical Newspapers – Go to and scroll down to find this database; it will let you search several old newspapers.

Academic Search Complete (by EBSCOHost) – Available from the list of databases beginning with ‘A’ on GMU’s library website. A general-purpose database that is the best first stop for looking for old magazine and newspaper articles as well as some of the bigger scholarly journals.

See also the databases listed under the subject “News” on GMU’s library website.


Diigo Post to HIST 390 (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of HIST 390-001 The Digital Past Fall 2013 group favorite links are here.



Library catalog – usually and historically, a master list of all the materials a library owns. Online public access catalogs (OPACs) in libraries are now often designed to provide access to all the materials a library has the right to access, whether or not the library owns that material.

Call number – the number that indicates the location of a book on the library shelves. For instance, the GMU call number for David Weinberger’s terrific book Everything is Miscellaneous is HD30.2 .W4516 2007. Books with similar call numbers have similar subjects.

Dewey Decimal Classification System – a system of classifying and organizing books by subject (and generating call numbers for them) that is usually used in public libraries.

Melvil Dewey – inventor of the Dewey Decimal Classification System, very weird and interesting guy.

Library of Congress Classification System – a system of classifying and organizing books by subject (and generating call numbers for them) usually used in research and university libraries.

Library of Congress Subject Headings – a set of official, authorized terms for describing the subject of a book — rather like “keywords” or “tags,” except very systematic and official.

Metadata (especially bibliographic metadata) – data about data. Bibliographic metadata is data about books (and similar items, such as journal articles): title, author, date, subject.

ISBN (International Standard Book Number) – a book’s ISBN is a unique number assigned to that book that helps people and machines distinguish that book from other books. Only more recent books published since 1970 will have an ISBN.

MARC (Machine Readable Cataloging). A method invented in the 1960s of encoding bibliographic metadata so that machines could read it. Library catalogs still use MARC records today.

Interlibrary loan (ILL) – a service that lets people borrow a book (or similar item) from a library other than the one they have official access to and have it delivered to their own library. Since we are part of the WRLC, the Washington Research Library Consortium, we can borrow books from most DC-area libraries.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – the technology that allows a scanner to recognize printed text characters on a page and convert them into digital text rather than just making an image of that page (like a photocopy).

Full text search – a search through the whole content of a digital book or article. If the full digital text is not available, either because the work has not been digitized or because the digital text has restrictions on it (if, for instance, you need to pay for it), you can usually still find the catalog or database record with bibliographic metadata that can help you decide whether you need to see the whole book.

Codex – the physical form of a printed book; cut pages bound at the back. In opposition to the scroll.

ebook – a digital book.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) – a set of technologies that controls which file formats can be accessed on which devices.

.epub – the file extension for ebooks published in the free and open EPUB format.

.mobi – the file extension for ebooks published in Amazon’s proprietary Mobipocket format.


GMU’s Library website – – a “catalog of catalogs” that includes library catalog records from thousands of libraries around the world, including of course GMU’s. There is a subscription version of WorldCat as well that is available from GMU’s list of databases under “W,” but the openly available one probably has almost everything you’ll need.

GMU’s Interlibrary Loan service –

Google Books – a collection of about 15 million scanned books from libraries that allows full-text search. Usually, however, you cannot read or download the full text of the book for free unless it is out of copyright (usually that means pre-1923 books), although there are a few more recent works that you can see the full text of. The Google Books project began in 2004 and its history is fascinating (and ongoing) — read more about it on the Wikipedia page about Google Books.

Google Books Advanced Search – a much better way to find books, especially specific books, than the default search; it will let you get more specific about what you’re looking for. – a scholarly website that in some respects is a duplicate of Google Books; it is a site where the libraries whose books Google scanned make available the scans of those books. HathiTrust is sometimes a much better place to look for books than Google Books, because trained librarians have done a lot of work to make sure the metadata is correct.

Project Gutenberg – an old (in Internet term) crowdsourced site where volunteers have put out-of-copyright books on the web. Project Gutenberg began in 1971 at one of the first computers on the ARPAnet (which of course became the Internet); as usual, please see the Wikipedia page about Project Gutenberg for its fascinating history.


Definitions / Terms

wiki – a website that runs on wiki software and thus allows collaborative editing. The word “wiki” is Hawaiian for “quick.”

MediaWiki – the platform on which Wikipedia runs, the best-known and most popular wiki software. MediaWiki is an open source CMS.

crowdsourcing – “the process of getting work or fundingor funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers.”

Wikimedia – the name of the nonprofit organization that runs Wikipedia and related projects such as Wiktionary and Wikimedia Commons

Jimmy Wales – one of the founders of Wikipedia –

Wikipedia “View history” page – the page on every Wikipedia article that allows you to see previous versions of that page

Wikipedia “Talk” page – the page on every Wikipedia article that allows you to see editor discussions of that page

Wikipedia editor – someone who edits Wikipedia. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, but some long-term, trusted members of the community have greater powers than others (such as the ability to freeze articles), and these are usually who we mean when we refer to Wikipedia editors.

The Five Pillars of Wikipedia – the five rules that govern Wikipedia: 1) Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, 2) Wikipedia has a neutral point of view, 3) Wikipedia is free content, 4) Editors should treat each other with respect, and 5) Wikipedia does not have firm rules. See





Note that this lesson is about Google the search engine, not Google the company. We’ll learn to use Google better, partly by learning what it is and how it works.





Zotero is useful for helping you acquire, manage, and share a collection of research sources that you intend to use in a formal research project. We will be creating a course Zotero group, and you are required to create a collection in it with the sources you have used for your presentation and final blog post.


  • Metadata – data about data
  • Bibliographic data – data used to describe books and other materials cited in bibliographies
  • Plugin / Add-on / Extension – a small application that is designed to “plug in” to an existing application. Zotero exists both as stand-alone software and as a browser extension for the Firefox browser.
  • Library – all your Zotero stuff
  • Collection – a themed subcollection of your Zotero stuff (show mine)
  • Group – a Library that can be contributed to by more than one person
  • Sync – just like with iTunes, you sync your library to the cloud at
  • Address bar icon – the small icon that shows up in the Firefox address bar (aka URL bar) when you have encountered a savable resource (a book, an article, and so on)

Exercise (required homework)

  • Install either Zotero on your own computer — either the Firefox extension or the standalone version will work (or both).
  • Create an account on
  • Join our course Zotero group