What is a Scholarly Article and How Do I Find One?

Library and Research Terminology

Abstract - A brief summary of the content of a book or article.

Bibliography - List of books, articles, and other information sources on a particular subject

Boolean logic - using short words (AND, OR, NOT) to tell a database how search words relate to each other. AND narrows a search. OR broadens a search. NOT removes a concept from a search. Examples: cats AND leukemia, cats OR felines, cats NOT siamese.

Catalog - A catalog contains records, with detailed descriptions and location information, of the materials in a library collection.

Citation - A reference to an item (such a book or article), that contains the author, title, date of publication and any other information needed to locate the item.

Database - A searchable online file of records containing information such as citations, abstracts, full text, or other information.

Full-text -A digital version of the entire text of an article, book, etc.

Keywords – The most important concepts in a research question or topic.

Interlibrary Services - A free library service that allows you to borrow materials from other libraries.

Journal - A scholarly magazine that contains articles written by professors, researchers or experts in a subject area.

Magazine/periodical – A popular or general interest publication issued weekly or monthly.

Peer Reviewed Journals - Also called refereed or juried journals, they are a type of publication that send submitted articles to one or more experts for review before deciding to publish them.

Scholarly Sources - Scholarly sources are publications (journal articles) written by subject experts for other researchers in their field of study. They are often PEER-REVIEWED or refereed, and generally include a BIBLIOGRAPHY.

Subjects/tags/descriptors - Carefully selected words or phrases used to tag information for easy retrieval. Example: shirt may be the descriptor for sweater, blouse, t-shirt, etc.

Truncation - A search technique in which you use a symbol to search for variations on a word. Example: environment* also searches environmental, environmentalist, environmentalism, etc.

Meriam Library | CSU, Chico