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Research Guides

Claremont Colleges Off-Campus Study

Library and research information for students participating in the CMC Washington Program, Silicon Valley, or Study Abroad.

Finding Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Articles

When you want to find articles about topics in your area of interest, use the indexing databases (essentially, a huge, searchable bibliography of citations) for that subject.  Subjects have indexing tools specific to the subject, but don't forget to try out indexes that search across disciplines in order to maximize your ability to find materials.  Lots of things we'll own online, but for the things we do not own online, make sure to place a request for that item through Resource Sharing

Identifying Academic/Scholarly Articles

What is an academic/scholarly article?

An academic/scholarly article is an in-depth research article written by a researcher or scholar specializing in the particular subject or discipline to which the article relates.

How can I tell if an article I find is academic/scholarly?

Use the following guidelines to help determine if an article is scholarly:

What is the name of the magazine publishing the article?

Look for words in the title like journal or research or quarterly or review. These are often an indicator that the magazine is a scholarly journal. Popular magazines like Newsweek, The New Yorker, People, or Harper’s do not publish scholarly articles.

Has the article been peer-reviewed?

Peer-reviewed or refereed articles are reviewed by a panel of subject experts (or peers) for accuracy and relevance to the discipline before they are published. These articles are considered to be the most reliable of all scholarly publishing. Print copies of peer-reviewed journals indicate in the masthead or in the author guidelines that they publish peer-reviewed articles. Many of the Claremont Colleges Library's online article databases will let you limit your search to find only articles that have been peer-reviewed.

Does the article include a bibliography, footnotes, or endnotes?

Scholars and researchers always cite their sources of information.

Who is the author of the article?

Is the author qualified to write on the subject? Is she or he an expert? Is the author a professor or researcher associated with a college or university? Has she or he written other works on the subject?

How long is the article?

Look at the number of pages. Academic articles are usually quite long, sometimes 15 to 30 pages.

What about identifying academic/scholarly books?

You can use many of the same guidelines listed above to determine if a book is scholarly or academic: check the author’s credentials, see whether the book includes a bibliography or notes, and look to see if it was published by a college or university press.

Get This Item

Once you have found articles you want to read, the button provides a quick way to find any available online full-text copies or request electronic copies through Resource Sharing.

Step 1: first looks for any full text of your article that is available in the library's online resources. If it finds full text it will take you directly to the article or to a page where you can open the full text as either html or pdf.

Step 2:  If the library doesn't have electronic access to the article you need, you can request a copy through Resource Sharing. Simply click on the "Request Item" button located towards the bottom of the record. Within a few days, you will receive an email from the library with a link to a downloadable copy of the article you requested. NOTE: Be sure to download the article as soon as you receive the email; copyright law does not allow the link to remain active for more than a few days.