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Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Journals and Articles:  

What is Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Literature?

Issues of Journal of the Polynesian Society and Pacific ScienceScholarly literature is articles and books written by scholars and researchers to advance knowledge in an academic field by reporting on their work to others in their field. 

Scholarly articles are usually quite long and detailed, are written at an expert level, and have a list of references (i.e., works cited) at the end. Scholarly articles are published in scholarly journals, which are also called academic journals, Journals often focus on a specific specialized field, and many have the word "journal" in their name.

Many, but not all scholarly journals use the peer review process to choose the articles they publish.

The Peer Review Process

A peer-reviewed journal (also called a refereed journal) is a scholarly journal that uses a rigorous review process to decide which articles to publish.

  1. The scholar or researcher writes an article, and submits it to the journal for their consideration.
  2. The journal recruits other experts in the author's field to read the article and provide feedback on it.
  3. Based on the experts' reviews, the journal's editor might request revisions to the article and further reviews, before deciding whether to publish the article.

The process can take a long time, but the final published articles are generally considered to be highly credible.


Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

Some of our research databases can help you find peer-reviewed articles by limiting your search results to articles from peer-reviewed journals. Be aware that these journals may contain content like editorials, book reviews, and letters to the editor that are not peer-reviewed.

Do a search for your topic. On the list of articles found by your search, open the Availability menu on the left of the screen and choose Peer-reviewed Journals.
Either on the search screen or on the results list, click on the Peer Reviewed checkbox.
Click on the Peer Reviewed checkbox under the search term box before you perform your search. Note – ABI/INFORM Collection is the only ProQuest database we currently subscribe to that has peer-reviewed content.
All articles are from peer-reviewed journals.

Cast a Wider Net: Finding Scholarly Articles, Whether Peer-Reviewed or Not

If you are required to find scholarly articles for your assignment, but the articles don't have to be peer-reviewed, some of our databases have tools to help you.

  • Leave Peer Reviewed unchecked
  • Under "Publication Type" (search page) or "Source Types" (results list), select Academic Journals
  • Leave Peer Reviewed unchecked
  • Under "Source Type" (advanced search page or results list), select Scholarly Journals

Finding Articles from References Lists

The list of references at the end of a scholarly article shows the sources that the authors referred to in writing the article. You can use that list to further explore the topic you are researching. To obtain an article you'd like to read, you can use Primo's Fetch Item tool to see if it is available in one of our databases. If the article has a Digital Object Identifier in its citation (labeled with "doi:" or as part of a URL starting with "https//"), see our guide on Digital Object Identifiers for how you can use the DOI to obtain the article.

Availability of Articles in Databases

With journals, it's often the case that the actual complete article (sometimes called the "full text") is not directly available from the database you are searching. This is because many journal publishers make less money licensing their articles to database vendors than they do by selling subscriptions and article reprints.

In these cases, a database might only show you the article's citation (the information that identifies the article and the journal it was published in) and an abstract (a short summary of what the article is about).

See the More About Periodicals page for information about:

  • How citation-only and full-text articles are retrieved in our different databases
  • Suggestions for obtaining articles that are not available full-text in our databases

Search Scope Options:

Search many of the library's databases.
Journal Search
See if we subscribe to a particular periodical or have access through our databases.

Newspaper Articles: In Primo, newspaper articles are searched separately from other articles. In the Primo search screen, choose Newspapers at the top of the search screen, or choose Newspaper Search from the bottom of a results list.

The Primo system does not cover Issues & Controversies or OverDrive Magazines.

Journal Databases

EBSCOhost provides us with dozens of general and specialized research databases, many with scholarly content. We often recommend Academic Search Complete, which covers a broad range of subjects. You can see our full list of EBSCO databases for those that focus on topics including science, technology, health and medicine, humanities, and business. 

ScienceDirect provides journal articles and book chapters from Elsevier publications.

ABI/INFORM Collection has articles and reports on business and economics.

Google Scholar, when searched through the library's link, can retrieve premium articles from the library's other research databases that aren't available in regular Google Scholar.

More Information

Learn more about periodicals and how to find articles in our research databases..