Periodicals, also known as serials, are publications with distinctive titles that are produced at regular or stated intervals with no determined publishing end date.
Articles tend to be more narrowly focused than books and, of course, they can bring you up to date on your subject since a book is static once it is published. Magazine and newspaper articles written for the general public to inform, entertain, or persuade can often give the best look at the social and political issues resonating within a population at a particular point in time and, as such, can represent valuable primary sources for historical research. Secondary articles, written by scholars and published in scholarly journals, are the building blocks for in-depth research and one of the primary means by which scholars and experts in a field pass on their theories, research and findings.
Great starting places for scholarly periodical literature:
Also of interest
C.R.I.S. : the combined retrospective index set to journals in history, 1838-1974
Location: Young Library-Reference. Call Number: Z6205 .C18
C.R.I.S. : the combined retrospective index set to journals in political science, 1886-1974
Location:Young Library - Reference. Call Number: Z7162 .C750
Combined retrospective index to book reviews in scholarly journals, 1886-1974
Location:Young Library - Reference Call Number: Z1035.A1 C60