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PRST 3995: Interdisciplinary Research and Project Solving: Types of Articles & Journals

What is a Scholarly Article?

Common Characteristics:

  • written by and for specialists or researchers in a particular discipline.
  • usually narrow in focus with a detailed analysis of a topic.
  • often contains original research or new findings.
  • contains cited references.
  • usually (but not always) peer reviewed. Peer reviewed articles go through a strict evaluation and approval process before they're published. Sometimes they are also called refereed or juried articles.

Note: Peer reviewed articles are not limited to science. All academic fields use a peer review process to ensure quality and accuracy.

How to Find Scholarly Peer Reviewed Articles

Scholarly peer reviewed articles are included in many library databases. Use a research guide to find the best database for your subject or use the Scholarly Articles tab in the JEWL search box on the library homepage. You can also use the library's Databases A-Z tool to find a list of library databases by subject or discipline. Here is a sample search using the JEWL Search Scholarly Articles tab on the library home page

Please note:  There are many academic and scholarly journals that do not contain peer-reviewed articles.  Using the scholarly articles filter will give you a list of academic journal articles that are peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed.  You must do the extra step of researching your specific journal to determine if it's peer-reviewed. 

1. Enter your keywords / topics. 

2.  On the search results page, use the filters in the left column under the "Limit To" menu:

  • Select "Scholarly/Peer Reviewed/Academic"
  • Select "Online (Full Text)" to view results from the online databases with full-text links to the article PDFs.  
  • Select "Online + Print" to view results from both the online databases and the print journals owned by the library. 
  • An optional "Publication Date" limiter is also available.


How to Verify a Journal Includes Peer-Reviewed Articles

How do you know if an article is from a peer-reviewed academic journal or an academic journal that doesn't include peer-reviewed articles? Two options: (1) search for the journal title in Ulrichsweb database or (2) check the journal publisher's website for a detailed description of the journal.

Search the title of the journal (not the article) and look at the symbols beside the title. If there is a "refereed" symbol , then the journal is peer-reviewed. Refereed is a synonym for peer-reviewed. 

Parts of a Scholarly Article

Parts can be combined depending upon the journal publisher's preferred format. The most commonly combined sections are: (1) introduction with literature review; and (2) results with discussion.

  • Abstract--summary of the article
  • Introduction--why the research was done
  • Literature Review -- previously published research about the same or related topics
  • Materials and Methods--how the research was done
  • Results--what the data revealed
  • Discussion--opinion or importance of the results
  • Conclusion-- decision or opinion formed based on the results
  • References--list of citations for all published research mentioned within the article