How do I find a scholarly, peer-reviewed article?
Finding scholarly, peer-reviewed sources is a critical step in the research process. And while it is a very important step, it does not have to be one of the most difficult. There are a variety of methods for finding scholarly articles (click here to be reminded of the difference between scholarly and popular articles) using the resources provided through the library. Below you will find an overview of finding scholarly articles in WorldCat, library databases, and Google Scholar.
Finding scholarly articles in WorldCat:
After performing a search within WorldCat, you can quickly and easily find scholarly articles on your topic by selecting the "Peer-reviewed" button from the filters along the left-hand side. See the screenshot below for an example of this.
Finding articles in a library database:
Library databases are the best resources to use to find scholarly articles. They are simple to search, targeted at specific disciplines, and contain information about millions of articles that cannot easily be found in any other way. To ensure that you are searching for articles that relate to your research topic, you should first select an appropriate database from Research by Subject. Once you have selected a database, you can limit your search strictly to peer-reviewed, scholarly sources using the Advanced Search screen. Almost all databases have links or buttons that allow you to restrict to peer-reviewed publications (see two examples below), but if you are unable to make this determination, please do not hesitate to ask a librarian.
Finding scholarly articles using Google Scholar:
Google Scholar is another option that you can use to find scholarly articles. Prior to searching Google Scholar you need to ensure that you have enabled access to Bucknell's materials. Without taking this step you will not be able to effectively find full-text for many items that you would normally have access to. You can then search Google Scholar as you would WorldCat or a library database.
It is very important to know that Google Scholar requires you to evaluate your sources to ensure that they are indeed scholarly, and that there are inherent differences between Google Scholar and library databases.