According to Wikipedia:
In academic publishing, a paper (or article) is an academic work that is usually published in an academic journal. It contains original research results or reviews existing results. Such a paper, also called an article, will only be considered valid if it undergoes a process of peer review by one or more referees (who are academics in the same field) in order to check that the content of the paper is suitable for publication in the journal. A paper may undergo a series of reviews, edits and re-submissions before finally being accepted or rejected for publication. This process typically takes several months. Next there is often a delay of many months (or in some subjects, over a year) before publication, particularly for the most popular journals where the number of acceptable articles outnumbers the space for printing.
Databases are web sites and search engines aimed at helping to organize publicized works relating to specific fields, so that those wishing to make use of the information may find articles and research related to the topic of interest. On this page you will find a list of databases that are available through BYU, and that will likely contain a good deal of information you can use to perform your own research. As you use them, look for the "Get it at BYU" hyperlink to aid you in obtaining copies of articles that you find interesting or important for your research. If it is not available at BYU, then clicking on that link will invite you to use our Interlibrary Loan Office to request the article. Use the chat box if you need more information or to answer any questions you may have.