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What is a scholarly article?
A scholarly article contains original research or experimentation by an expert in the field. Apply the following tips and guidelines to find and identify scholarly articles quickly and easily.
What do they look like?
There are several indications that an article is scholarly. Most of the following factors should be present for an article to be considered scholarly:
The name of the journal is scholastic: A scholarly journal often has the word “Journal” or the name of a professional or academic association in the title. Popular magazines that you can find at newsstands such as Time, Newsweek, and Forbes do not publish scholarly materials. Journal of the American Psychological Association and Journal of Physical Chemistry are scholarly journals.
The article is peer reviewed: The article has gone through the peer review or referee process, meaning another expert in the field has evaluated the article and approved its content for publication.
A scholarly article is several pages, not just one or two.
A scholarly article uses outside research to support its thesis, and cites the references it uses.
The author will usually be an expert in the field, have some academic affiliation, or have written other research articles
The abstract has research-related words: Words such as research, study, data, survey, statistical, or other research-related words may be included in the abstract of the article.
Adapted from Illinois Institute of Technology Reference Services Handout.
Articles are shorter works, usually between 1 and 35 pages, that are about a specific topic. Use articles to:
support your argument in a research paper
learn who is doing research in your area
stay up-to-date with the most current research
You will use library databases to find journal articles. Most professors will ask that you use scholarly articles. You search for articles in Databases.
Databases for finding articles
The selective list of Library Databases below are an effective tools for locating scholarly articles, magazine and trade magazine articles as well as newspaper materials.
While the Databases listed below provide good coverage of many topics, if your research involves other areas, perhaps Religion, Education, Art or any number of related fields, you will find the extensive list of all Lehigh Databases at our Database Finder page
Nexis Uni™ features more than 15,000 news, business and legal sources from LexisNexis®—including U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790—with an intuitive interface that offers quick discovery across all content types, personalization features such as Alerts and saved searches and a collaborative workspace with shared folders and annotated documents.
Thousands of sources, primarily in English but some foreign language news as well.
Sociology and social services database with access to Sociological Abstracts, Applied Social Sciences Index Abstracts, and the Sociology Database with full-text coverage.
Coverage from 1952 - present.
Google Scholar focuses its search on millions of "scholarly" web sites and online information sources, incorporating primarily resources on the public web, but also including some fee-based resources. You will find scholarly resources from professional and industrial organizations, academic presses, universities, public online scholarly resources (such as public online journals and databases), and sites within .edu domains. At times the full text of many resources may be freely available online thus if you are having problems locating a known item it is worth a try to search Google Scholar. The author might have made the material available on the web and Google Scholar just might include it. A concern is that it is not at all clear what is or is not included. It is still important to use judgement in evaluating the resources it may include.