Articles are generally more current publications than books, simply because the publication cycle for journals is a much shorter time frame than a book. Many articles are further developed by their authors into books and book chapters.
CSUSM leases access to a wide variety of databases, so not all databases will be appropriate to your specific research topic. There is a drop-down menu on the Databases tab that will return a group of databases that have been identified as relevant to research in each discipline offered at CSUSM.
There are various levels of content found in articles. Everything from op-ed essays to peer-reviewed scholarly studies. For help in identifying the scholarly from things your professor will not allow in your papers, this video illustrates some of the characteristics you need to see.
The bibliography offered in a scholarly work will lead to other works on the same topic. Just keep in mind that the resources listed will be older than the article you are reading, so if you need the most recent studies, the bibliography will give you names of scholars writing on your topic who may have published more recent material, but not the most current research and writing.