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Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: Jul 30, 2020     Views: 116

Distinguishing between scholarly and non-scholarly articles is a valuable skill you can cultivate to evaluate the reputation and validity of a source and as well as distinguish the intended audience.  In the library website and databases, there are several tools to aid you.

  • In Ebscohost databases,on the search screen, you can check the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals box in the Limit your results options section.   This filter removes newspapers, magazines, and other non-scholarly sources.
  • You also check a journal title within the database Ulrichsweb to see if the publication is refereed (another term for "peer reviewed").
    1.Search for your journal by title. 
    2. If there is a referee shirt icon next to your title, it is labeled as a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Watch the TCC's library's YouTube video about the differences among magazines, journals, and newspapers. 

In general, consider the audience of the article:

  • Is the article written for entertainment or is it informative?
  • Would this article appeal to the general population?
  • Is it geared towards the academic community? 
  • Does the article cite any sources at the end, or open with an abstract? 

If you answered (mostly) informative, academic, sources are cited, and there is an abstract then you are likely looking at a scholarly article.

Using Limiters: It is recommended you search the Discovery Catalog on the Library's homepage then limit on the left side to "Articles" and "Peer-Reviewed." An icon of a person with a check mark will appear to identified peer-reviewed results (thought you will need to verify that the result is marked correctly). The Discovery Catalog searches a lot of our relevant databases all at once for us.