Did your professor say that you have to use scholarly (or peer-reviewed) sources for your assignment? That means that you need to find an article that was published in a peer-reviewed journal.
You've come to the right place! The boxes below will tell you what they are and how to identify them.
Scholarly articles (also known as peer-reviewed or academic articles) are written by researchers and are reviewed by other experts before being accepted for publication. You can use a library database to locate journal articles.
Are you wondering if the article you found is scholarly? Ask yourself these questions:
Is this an article that was published in a journal? (Hint: Look near the bottom or top of the page for a journal name, volume number, issue number, year and page numbers.)
Does the article tell you where the author works (and maybe their contact details)? (Hint: Look for footnotes by the author's name.)
Is there an abstract at the beginning of the article? (A summary of the article, written by the authors.)
Does the article end with a bibliography or list of works cited? (There could also be extensive footnotes.)
Is the language in the article more technical than a typical magazine or newspaper?
Does the article's formatting look really boring? (No advertisements or glossy color pictures.)
If you answered YES to most of these questions, the article you're looking at is probably scholarly!
Still feeling unsure that the journal article is scholarly? Look up the journal it was published in with Ulrichs International Periodicals Directory. If the journal name has a little black and white striped referee's shirt next to it, it's a scholarly journal.
An article is only scholarly if it went through the peer review process before publication.
Many databases let you to limit your search results to only scholarly articles. You can do this at two points in the search process.
1. Check the Scholarly Journals Box on the Database Main Page Before Beginning Your Search
2. Check the Scholarly Journals Box After You Have a List of Search Results To Remove Popular Sources
Follow this link to see what a scholarly article typically looks like:
Time Saving Tip
Don't read scholarly articles straight through from beginning to end!
No? Find another article! Yes? Start reading the rest.
Video created by the Peabody Library.