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Determine if an Article is Scholarly

Learn how to differentiate between popular and scholarly articles and how to find peer reviewed or refereed journal articles.

How to Determine if an Article is Scholarly

Library Databases

Library databases provide electronic access to articles published in periodicals.

Library databases are different from most search engines. How do they differ?

  • The library pays to access these resources (that's why we log in through the library homepage)
  • The way you enter search queries:
    • Most library databases cannot parse natural language
      • A natural language query is like asking your home assistant a complete question such as, "Hey robot, what's the weather today?"
    • However, databases can help get you to specific content related to your topic!
      • You can search by topic keywords, author, title, DOI, or other criteria
      • You can easily limit/filter searches to get more relevant results
  • The results that are returned:
    • Are usually trustworthy
      • Read more about evaluating authority, accuracy and other features on our library guide
    • Are organized and easy to sort
      • There are fewer overall results returned, but those returned will exclude more irrelevant results
    • Make full text more easily accessible
    • Can be limited to peer reviewed sources