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Information Literacy Basics

Is it Scholarly?

database record for journal article


When you do a search in an academic database, your results will look something like this. This is called the item record. There are a lot of things to notice here, but the real question is -- is the article you've found scholarly? There are a couple of clues to help you find out. 

article record showing presence of charts

The presence of charts and tables in the item record is a good indicator of a primary, peer-reviewed research article.

search bar resuts

Using the source types refiner bar helps you identify different kinds of sources more easily. You can refine by academic journals here, which should narrow down by scholarly, or peer-reviewed articles available in this database. 

Finally, when you open an article and begin looking at the contents, consider all of the criteria discussed in Is It Scholarly? You should see plenty of overlap!