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​Getting Started with Research

A guide to help with the essentials of library research

Finding Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Sources

What are scholarly sources?

  • Articles published in scholarly journals which cover academic and scientific research. Scholarly journals are often referred to as "peer-reviewed" or "refereed."
  • Books written by academic scholars and published (most often) by university presses.

How do I search for and find scholarly sources?

For articles, search in library databases. Look for links to limit results by "academic sources" or "peer-reviewed sources."

For books, search in LibrarySearch. Look for the name of the publisher in the catalog record, e.g., "University of California Press."

How can I tell if a source is scholarly?

In general, scholarly sources:

  • Are written by an author with an advanced degree, i.e., a college professor
  • Are written for an academic audience
  • Contain a credible list of citations/references
  • Include in-text citations
  • Often contain an abstract, literature review, methodology, results, or discussion.

How can I be absolutely sure my journal article is scholarly?

  1. Go to Ulrich's Periodicals Directory
  2. Type in the title of the journal in the search box
  3. When you find the link to the journal, click on it
  4. Look for the Document Type to say "Journal; Academic/Scholarly"

Is your journal "peer reviewed" or "refereed"?

Many databases offer the option to search for "peer-reviewed" journal articles - those are academic articles reviewed by the authors' peers for accuracy during the editing and publishing process.

If you are using a database that does not have this filter option, or if you find an article citation somewhere else, you can check if the article was published in a "peer-reviewed" journal or magazine by using Ulrichsweb. Search for your journal or magazine by title and look for a little black and white striped referee jersey icon next to its name. Referee jersey icon from Ulrichsweb serials directory

Ulrichsweb screen shot of journal entry

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