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Getting Started with Research: An Overview of the Process

A guide through the library research process. Contact a librarian for more!

Library Databases vs. Search Engines (Video Tutorial)

Watch this video from WHMS Library to understand the difference between library databases and search engines.

Identifying and Finding Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Articles and Books

What are characteristics of scholarly sources?

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
  • May or may not be "Peer Reviewed"

How can I tell if a source is scholarly?

  • Articles published in scholarly journals which cover academic and scientific research. Scholarly journals are often referred to as "peer-reviewed" or "refereed" journals. Journals can also be scholarly or academic, but not have the extra level of quality control known as "peer review."

  • Books are not "peer-reviewed," like articles. Instead, they are written by academic scholars, and edited and published (most often) by academic or university presses, e.g.: Routledge, IGI Global, or Oregon State University Press. A book review can indicate if the book is scholarly.

What does it mean when scholarly journals are peer-reviewed?

  • Some academic or scholarly journals go through an extra process called "Peer Review" before they are published. These are considered the highest quality of academic journal sources because other scholars in the same field as the author (the author's "peers") review their work.

How do I search for and find scholarly sources?


Articles in LibrarySearch 

Search in LibrarySearch* or library databases for articles and limit results by "academic sources" or "peer-reviewed sources." 

Screenshot of LibrarySearch search for alcohol restrictions by state. The search is highlighted by a green box with an arrow pointing toward the applied search filters: "Peer-reviewed Journals" and "Articles." The annotation overload on this screenshot notes "There are 26,185 articles in my search results, but only 21,844 of those articles are from scholarly "Peer-Reviewed Journals"

*LibrarySearch includes search results from many of the UO Libraries database subscriptions.

Articles in a Database

Databases often have a "Scholarly" or "Peer Review" filter option too. Here's an example from one of our EBSCO databases: 

Screenshot of Academic Search Premier (an EBSCO database) with the search terms highlighted in a green box: alcohol AND (restrictions OR regulations) AND (state OR "United States"). A dark pink box shows there are 2,879 results and the filter applied is "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals." The annotation overlaid on this screen shot says, "There are 2,879 search results for this search, and 2,825 are from scholarly or academic journals that are 'Peer-reviewed' journals."


Books

Search in LibrarySearch by title or keyword. Many of our books are "scholarly," but look for the name of the publisher to find an academic press, e.g., "Princeton University Press."

Screenshot of a LibrarySearch search for "alcohol restrictions by state" with the eBooks, Print Books, and Book chapters active filters to limit the search to those "Resource Types." The annotation overlaid on this screen shot says: 1. Select eBooks, Print Books, and Book Chapters from the "Resources Type" filter. Look for University Press publishers. If you want only print, select "Available at UO" or a Library location. 3. "UO eResources" will exclude eBooks we do not have access to.

Understanding Databases (Video Tutorial)

Watch this video from Carteret Community College Library to understand the differences between databases. 

University of Oregon Libraries
1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR
97403-1299
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