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Identifying Scholarly Journals

How to recognize a scholarly journal from a trade magazine or a popular magazine

Finding Scholarly Journals

You will never find a scholarly journal at a news stand or in the grocery store.  The publications you find there are always either general/news publications or popular magazines.  Scholarly journals are bought by subscription straight from the publisher.  To find them, you must either visit the library or use a database.

If you visit the library, staff at the information desk can help you find scholarly journals.

Usually, the most convenient way to find scholarly journals is through a database. Some databases like JSTOR orPsycARTICLES are aimed at scholarly research and contain mostly scholarly journals.

But what if you don't know which database to use or how to start your search?

A good place to start your search for scholarly journals is through Academic Search Complete. This is a general database that has information on a wide range of subjects. Don't limit yourself to just this database -- there are a lot of other good databases out there!

Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete

On the main search page, there are two boxes that you will find handy.

The first is the "full text" box. This will allow you to find and print articles straight from the database. Keep in mind though, that checking on this box will limit how many results you receive. So if you're not getting that many results, try unchecking the "full text" box. If you find something that isn't available full text from Academic Search Complete, staff at the information desk can help you try and fnd it someplace else.

The second box that you will use is the "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" box. Checking this box will limit your results to just scholarly, or peer reviewed, journals. This takes the guess work out of trying to decide if something is scholarly or not.

Academic Search Complete


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 Rockhurst University Library · 1100 Rockhurst Road · Kansas City, MO 64110 · 816-501-4116