Finding Scholarly Articles
Your teacher has told you to find some scholarly articles for your research paper. This Guide will help you determine (a) what scholarly, or peer-reviewed articles, look like and (b) where and how to find them.
What is a Scholarly Article?
Not sure exactly what a scholarly article is? Here’s how to identify it:
- The article has footnotes.
- There is a list of references at the end of the article citing sources the author used.
- The author notes her/his professional degrees and institutional affiliation.
- The publication title includes words such as Journal, Review, Research or Studies.
- The publication is from a professional organization or association.
- The article has technical terms or a specialized vocabulary relevant to the subject.
Finding Scholarly Articles in Journals
If you find a journal that carries scholarly articles, check to see if it has an index that lists the topic you're researching. Journals often include an index for each volume, found at the back of the last issue.
There are some specialized printed indexes in a variety of subject areas for older periodicals. These indexes are separate from the publications themselves. Ask library staff about these.
Finding Scholarly Articles in Databases
You can often find scholarly articles in the library's databases. Several of these databases have the option of restricting your search to these types of articles only. This option may have a name such as “peer reviewed” or “scholarly journals.”
- A scholarly journal is one authored by academics for a specific audience, generally published by an organization with academic goals and missions.
- A peer-reviewed article goes through an official editorial process that includes review and approval by the author's peers in the same subject area.
Either of these choices will restrict your database search to scholarly articles.
Several Pratt Library databases offer this option, including:
Please ask library staff for any assistance you may need in your search. We can help clarify if an article is scholarly and help you find the indexes you need to research your topic.
Sample Search Using the General Proquest Database
Here’s a helpful demonstration of how to find scholarly articles in our most popular database, General Proquest:
- Go to the Enoch Pratt Free Library home page.
- Click the link for Research, located on the yellow bar at the top of the page:
- This will take you directly to the Databases main page:
- Under the heading "Databases by name," select "G."
- Choose General Proquest. You will be sent automatically to the Search page of this database.
- In the search box, type "peer counseling." Check the box for "Scholarly journals." Click on the search button (which looks like an orange magnifying glass).
- The retrieved articles will be scholarly articles. Congratulations!
Have more questions about finding scholarly articles? Please e-mail us, call (410) 396-5451, or contact us via mail:
Enoch Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201