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Scholarly Information: Journal Articles

Journal articles present original research.

Review articles are slightly different types of journal articles.  Instead of presenting new research, they typically provide an overview and synthesis of a research area.  They are typically longer and provide more references than articles that present original research.

A peer-reviewed source is an article that has been reviewed by several other experts in the field before being published in order to ensure its quality. This 2-minute video describes the peer review process

Scholarly vs Non-Scholarly:

Scholarly explanation:

  • written by experts, for other experts
  • best search options: library databases
  • usually, a subscription (payment) is required to access, but not always
  • most information available through an academic library is scholarly

Non-Scholarly Information:

  • written for a wide variety of audiences, often by non-experts
  • best search options: it depends!  some freely available on the web, some for purchase, some not at all (proprietary)
    • FOR THIS CLASS:  use the databases or methods described below
  • often NOT well-indexed in library databases
  • some is freely available (free on the web), some available for payment (newspapers, magazine, books)

How do I Know if an Article is Peer-Reviewed?

Look for limits/filters

Many databases allow you to specify that you want to search only in “peer-reviewed” or “refereed” sources.

Visit the journal’s webpage

Search online for your journal’s title. Sections like “about this journal” or “editorial policies” generally mention whether the journal is peer-reviewed/refereed.

Use BROWZINE, a web-based journal engagement platform that allows you to find and virtually browse journals.

Take a look at the BROWZINE page for more information. 

Check a directory 

How to Access the Full Text of an Article

"Get it at UC" Button

Most databases provide a description of articles and other resources to help you find what you need by searching through the indexed literature within their website. Included as part of the item record is the “Get it at UC”  button. Clicking this button will direct you to a copy of the full text of the article. 

Interlibrary Loan Request

If we do not own a journal or book, you can submit an interlibrary loan (ILL) request to have the book or article (e)mailed to you for free from another UC library. Learn more about how to request books or articles.