Articles are technical, research-oriented documents and are written by researchers, experts and scholars within the field.
‘Scholarly’, ‘peer-reviewed’ or ‘refereed’ are words used interchangeably to refer to academic level articles.
Peer-reviewed articles mean that the article has been reviewed by other experts in the field before publication.
Depending on the discipline, scholarly articles can be considered primary or secondary sources.
How do I identify a scholarly article?
By examining the following six areas, you will be able to identify a scholarly article:
The purpose of an article is to contribute to a larger sphere of scholarly conversation.
By either building on existing research or synthesizing and interpreting original research, an article is meant to convey new information, perspectives and ideas.
As either a researcher, expert or scholar, an author’s credentials are important.
An author’s reputation in the field of scholarship or scholarly communication can often have an impact on the quality of the information in the article as well as the reception of their scholarly community.
Language is professional and makes use of technical and discipline appropriate terminology.
Articles are often lengthy and may consist of the following sections: abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, findings, conclusion, and bibliography.
Articles may also include the following infographics to communicate their data and findings: diagrams, charts, graphs, charts, photographs and tables.
The physical appearance of an article is largely determined by the journal it is published in.
Journal formats are typically very simple, with black-and-white typeface, standard margins and a generally comprehensible aesthetic.
The journal format of an article also avoids extraneous distractions, like supplementary advertisements.
Articles include substantial citations and bibliographies. In addition, some disciplines utilize extensive footnotes or endnotes. This could be an indicator of whether an article is peer-reviewed or not.
Checking the quality and validity of the citations is useful.
How do I find articles?
To search for articles, use an online platform or catalogue like Omni to search by article title, journal title, or topic.
Think of words and phrases that have the same or a similar meaning to your search topic and try searching with the new terms.
To search by title, put the article's title in quotations: "A History of the China Sea".
When using Omni to find peer-reviewed articles, remember the left-hand sidebar features facets that allow you to refine the results. Select the ‘Peer-reviewed Journals’ option to narrow your search to scholarly articles.
Tip: Once you have have located a useful article, remember that articles can also be used for their bibliographies, as directive sources to other relevant articles and information.