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FOED 7060: Seminar in Educational Foundations: Types of Articles & Journals

An introductory guide for education literature reviews.

Peer-Review Process -- Tutorial

What is it? Why is it important? (from NCSU)

How to Read Scholarly Research Articles

How To Find Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Articles

Most professors require scholarly journals for research papers. Here are some general characteristics of scholarly journal articles and why they're useful for academic papers.

Scholarly articles:

  • are written by and for specialists in a particular subject.
  • are usually narrower in focus with a more detailed analysis of the topic compared to other types of publications.
  • often contain original research or new findings.
  • have cited references and/or footnotes at the end of research articles.
  • are usually (but not always) peer reviewed.  Articles go through a strict review process before they're accepted for publication.  These are also referred to as refereed.

For a more complete list of characteristics and for help with distinguishing the differences between the three different types of periodicals, use the Scholarly, Trade, & Popular Journals handout.

One of the easiest ways to find scholarly articles is to use one of the library's subscription databases.  Most databases have search limiters that narrow your results to only information from scholarly sources.  This search limiter option is almost always on the advanced search screen.

For example, if you are trying to find scholarly peer-reviewed articles about music as a stress management tool, try using the library's Academic Search Premier Database. Your search screen setup would look like this: