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This is the "How To Find Scholarly Articles" page of the "Finding Scholarly Articles" guide.
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Finding Scholarly Articles  

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2014 URL: Print Guide

How To Find Scholarly Articles Print Page

Search for Scholarly Articles

1. Locate and open a database on your subject,  provides relevant databases for each subject.  

2. Use keywords on your topic or subject to look for articles. 

  • Keywords are terms you would like to find in your article; for example if your thesis statement was: "What human factors are effecting global warming?" you could use the keywords:
    • global warming human effect
    • climate change human
    • human effect climate
    • climate man-made

3.  After you have searched the database, look for a box to check for "scholarly peer reviewed articles" or a similar statement. 

  • Check the box next to this statement to limit to scholarly peer reviewed items. It could look similar to this:


  • If you do not see this box, look for something that identifies your article as peer reviewed, sometimes it is listed next to the article and sometimes there is a tab for peer reviewed.

4. Open your article and start reading!


Use one or more of the following tips to find scholarly articles

  • Use the library databases. 
    • The databases the library subscribes to, available through the Library ReSEARCH Station,  are the best sources for finding scholarly articles. Although you may find some scholarly articles through Google, there are millions more to choose from through the library databases.

    • Once you are in a library database, look for a way to limit your results to only academic, scholarly, or peer reviewed journals. Many databases allow you to limit your search to academic, scholarly, or peer reviewed journals (terminology varies between databases). Although limiting provides a preliminary filter, not all articles in a scholarly journal are scholarly (there may be letters to the editor, reviews, commentaries, etc.), so you will need to evaluate each article individually.


  • Use Google Scholar. 
    • Starting your search in Google Scholar will limit your Google search results to sources that are more appropriate to academic research. If you access Google Scholar through the Library ReSEARCH Station you will be able to link to the full text for articles in Google Scholar that CSU, Chico subscribes to. Look for the Find It At Chico button in Google Scholar to activate the linking. Remember, there are many more scholarly articles available to you through the library databases so also check here. 
  • Evaluate the article
    • Even if you have found your article in a library database or through Google Scholar, every article needs to be evaluated individually.  Once you have your article(s) in hand, check them against the Characteristics of a Scholarly Article or print out and consult the How To Identify a Scholarly Article chart from the What Is A Scholarly Article handout.
  • Come by the Reference Desk on the second floor of the library
  • Consult Ulrich's Periodicals Directory (located behind the Reference Desk, call number Z 6941 U5)
    • Look up your journal title and look for the Document Type: Journal, Academic/ScholarlyIf a journal is peer-reviewed, in addition to being scholarly, there will be an arrow to the left of the title.

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