What is an article?

Your professor says you need to search for articles, and that they must be scholarly or peer reviewed. But what is an article?

A scholarly journal article is the best of what we know; it builds on previous research.

The purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on research conducted by scholars, and professionals in the field. Scholarly journals provide in-depth articles that cover specific issues or research questions, while the language and content is geared toward scholars and professionals in the field. Some articles contain tables and graphs and most contain bibliographies (or reference lists or works cited). As well, articles in scholarly journals are peer reviewed.

definition Peer reviewed

When an article is submitted to a publisher, it is sent to a group of experts, or peers, who evaluate the work based on its originality, currency and validity.

Also called: scholarly journals, academic journals and peer-reviewed journals

Advantages of Scholarly Journals
  • Information presented is accurate and reliable.
  • Thorough bibliography points to further sources of information.
Disadvantages of Scholarly Journals
  • Background information is usually not included.
  • Articles may only cover one aspect of your topic.
more Find out more!
From Idea to Library. [2:28 minutes] (NCSU Libraries) https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/tutorials/idea_library/

Where do I find journal articles?

Journal articles are found in library databases. A database will contain scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles useful to complete your assignment. You can think of a database as you would an iTunes library. Just as an iTunes library could have songs which you can search by artist, song title, or genre, a library database allows you to search for scholarly articles by subject, keywords, author, etc.

take note Take note!

Library databases contain many documents other than journal articles, including:

  • conference proceedings
  • book reviews
  • theses
  • book chapters
  • newspaper articles
  • magazine articles
  • reports

Make sure to limit your search to scholarly or academic journal articles if that is what is required for your assignment.

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