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Finding Articles & Using Databases: Finding Scholarly Articles

Scholarly Articles: Best Bet Databases

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Finding Scholarly Articles


What are peer-reviewed articles?

Often, a professor will specify that articles need to be peer-reviewed, scholarly or refereed ...(they all mean the same thing). 

The peer-review process means that other scholars/experts in the field have reviewed the article's content prior to publication and deemed it credible.



Some common features of a peer reviewed article:

  1. It will have an abstract - a brief paragraph that describes the content of the article (TIP: If you cannot understand the abstract, you definitely won't be able to understand the article!)
  2. It will have a list of references or bibliography.The sources will be clear.
  3. It will have authority - the author's credentials / affiliation will be clearly stated.
  4. It will be technical and contain terminology or jargon related to the topic or field of study. You will likely encounter graphs, charts or complex mathematical equations/formulas.
  5. It will be likely be substantially longer than a magazine article.

As you can tell, peer reviewed articles are very different than what you might find in popular magazines, newspapers, trade journals and Google.

Yes, Google Scholar does contain some academic journal articles, but often there is a fee to obtain it. Your best bet is to check the Library's databases, where access to everything is FREE.

How do I find peer-reviewed articles?

These types of articles are ONLY found within scholarly journals. The best way to access scholarly journals is through our databases; these can be filtered to display only articles that are peer reviewed. Every database displays scholarly journals a little differently. Below is an example from our most comprehensive database: EBSCO's Academic Search Complete.

Obtaining Peer Review Articles from EBSCO:
Enter your keywords to start your search, then on the far right hand side of the page, click on the check box that says: Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals. Note you can also filter articles by publication date as well.

Once you have obtained a results page, you may be confused over some of the options. If you require assistance, ask a librarian!

Video on the Components of Peer Reviewed Articles.

The following brief video will introduce you to locating scholarly / peer reviewed sources in databases.

Identifying Components of Scholarly Articles

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