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Finding articles

Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

Where to start?

If you are looking for a peer-reviewed article in a particular subject, we generally recommend you start with a library database dedicated to that subject.  For example, if you are looking for a peer-reviewed article for your "Psychology in My Life" assignment, why not look in a database like PsycArticles that is filled with thousands of articles that are only about psychology?  You can see all our library databases on the Databases by Subject page.

When you search the database you've chosen, make sure you click the box that says Peer-Reviewed.  That way your search results will only show peer-reviewed articles.  That way you won't have to sort through a bunch of articles and try to figure out which one is peer-reviewed and which one is not.  If you don't see the box to select peer-reviewed in your database, try looking under Advanced Search. 




Your search terms

When searching, choose your words carefully.  Remember that you are not talking to another person, you just want to identify key concepts for the database to look for.   Some things to consider:

  • Don't use complete sentences or the name of your assignment.
  • Try starting with one or two key words that describe your topic.
  • If you are searching in a database dedicated to a particular topic, like psychology, you don't have to use that topic as one of your key words.
  • Use Boolean Operators like AND, OR, and NOT to connect key words. 
  • If you are looking for a phrase, such as "manifest destiny" or "abnormal psychology", put the phrase in quotes and the database will look for those words together.  Otherwise, without quotes the database will look for those words separately. 


For more in-depth help, please see our Research Tutorial