question marks#4. How do I find peer reviewed articles?

More often than not, your professors ask that you use scholarly or “peer reviewed” articles when you’re writing a research paper. But what makes an article “scholarly” and where do you search for these resources?

Scholarly journal articles:

  • Are written by and for specialists in a particular field;
  • Go through a peer review process before they’re accepted for publication;
  • Offer original research, or new knowledge in a given field;
  • Tend to have a narrower focus and more analysis of the topic than those in other types of publications;
  • Include cited references or footnotes at the end of research articles.

A common way to find journal articles on your topic is to search article indexes. These can be printed indexes or online databases. Some provide the full text of articles; some provide just citations and abstracts. For those indexes that don’t include the full text, click on the FIND IT button to be redirected to the JHU Libraries catalog. From there, you can check if we have the electronic full text through another database or you can see if we have it in print.

Here are just a few examples of databases that index articles in scholarly journals (these are available to JHU users only):

Business Source Premier
(For business papers. Check the “Peer Reviewed” box.)

Applied Science & Technology Abstracts
(For applied science and engineering papers. Check the “Limit to Peer Reviewed” box to the right of the search box.)

MLA International Bibliography
(For language and literature papers. Check the “Peer Reviewed” box toward the bottom of the page.)

(For psychology papers. Check the “Peer Reviewed” box.)

And that’s not all. There are lots more. For more discipline-specific article databases, consult the lists of databases by subject. And if you need any more help, you can always stop by the reference office on M Level of MSEL or ask a librarian. We’re here to help!

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