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Education and Training: Basic Research

General purpose subject guide with resources pertaining to education and training.

What is a Peer-Reviewed Article?

Popular Articles vs Peer-Reviewed Articles: What's the difference?

Popular Articles

  • Grocery cartcome from newsstand magazines and newspapers 
    • sold in grocery stores, drug stores, or bookstores
  • authors - reporters, freelancers, staff writers
  • editors decide what goes into an issue
  • audience is the general public

Peer-Reviewed (Scholarly) Articles

  • scholarlyappear in academic journals (also known as scholarly journals)
  • found in libraries, universities, hospitals, and research centers
  • authors - experts, scientists, professors, scholars or other professionals in a specific field of study
  • peers of the author (in the same field) read and evaluate a paper (article) for validity, credibility and accuracy before publication
  • peers of the author recommend that the paper should be published, revised, or rejected
  • articles that are accepted for publication meet the expected standards for the field
  • audience - other experts, scholars, professionals in the same field or students pursuing the field

Library Databases for Peer-Reviewed Articles

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Basic Database Features - Tools and Filters



Each database company (EBSCO, Gale, Credo Reference, etc.) has its own unique "look," but ...

ALL databases have TOOLS. The most commonly used are:

  • basic or advanced search boxes
  • email or share
  • cite/citation
  • print

ALL databases have FILTERS. The most commonly used are:

  • full-text (import in EBSCO databases to access a complete article rather than just a short description)
  • publication date range
  • subject categories
  • source type - newspapers, magazines, peer-reviewed journals, images, audio, video, etc.
  • publication type you need -newspaper, magazines, or academic (scholarly) journal
  • document type - peer-reviewed article, essay, biography
  • language option - this may be limited, but worth checking anyway

How Do I Tell if an Article is Scholarly?

Use this grid can help you decide whether or not your source is scholarly.




Detailed report of original research or experiment, lengthy report of an original application of an arts or humanities concept Secondary report or discussion may include personal narrative, opinion, anecdotes.


Author's credentials are given, usually a scholar with subject expertise. Author may or may not be named; often a professional writer; may or may not have subject expertise.


Scholars, researchers, students. General public; the interested non-specialist.


Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires prior knowledge. Vocabulary in general usage; understandable to most readers.



Required. All quotes and facts can be verified. Rare. Scanty, if any, information about sources.


Research study, lengthy academic discussion of an arts or humanities concept, research review article Editorial, news, book/film review, letters, highlights

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