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Honors Program Resources: Finding Articles

This guide serves as a launching pad to useful research resources for students in the Honors Program.

Peer-review Journal vs. Scholarly Journal

A peer-reviewed or refereed journal is one in which manuscripts submitted by authors are reviewed by experts on the topic before being accepted for publication in the journal.   

Articles in some scholarly and professional journals are not peer-reviewed, but are selected by an editor or board.  So all peer-reviewed journals are scholarly; but not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed.

Peer-reviewed journals can be identified by their editorial statements or instructions to authors and in sources such as Ulrich's Periodicals Directory (UlrichsWeb).  In Ulrich's, the   icon indicates it is a "refereed" journal.

Where to Find Articles

You can search for articles using SUMMON on the Libraries home page, or search within individual databases. SUMMON searches multiple databases as well as the Libraries' catalog, so it can be a good place to start. Databases allow you to search specific collections of articles based on the subject or type of source. Some databases such as Proquest Central and OmniFile Full Text Mega include articles on a variety of subjects.

Search Tips and Tricks

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase.  A search for college dropouts will turn up articles that mention ‘college’ and ‘dropouts’ anywhere in the article, but searching for “college dropouts” (with quotes) will turn up articles that have those two words together.

Use an asterisk (*) to truncate words. Searching for ‘teenage*’ finds teenager, teenaged, etc.

If you find an article that works for your topic, run with it! Look at its keywords for more search terms, follow its citations for related items, or take a closer look at the journal in which it’s published.

Broaden/Narrow Topic

Once you begin searching for information in sources, you may end up with an overwhelming number of results. This may be because your topic is too broad. On the other hand, if your search is not returning any results, it may be because your topic is too narrow and you need to choose more general search terms.

If your search is returning too many results, you can add more specific terms to your topic or question.

What's a database?