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Library Research Skills: The Research Article

Contact a Librarian

For assistance or to request an appointment, please email me:  Mary DeCarlo   mmdecarl@syr.edu

Journal Information

Use our The Journal Locator  to information about a journal, including whether it is peer-reviewed and the extent of our electronic holdings. 

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How to Read a Research Article

This excellent slide show was created by my colleague, Elizabeth Wallace.

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 Articles in some scholarly and professional journals are not peer-reviewed, but are selected by an editor or board.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 our  Journal Locator.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

To understand the difference between primary and secondary sources of information, including scholarly vs. popular publications please view this short tutorial created by Tara Radniecki:  Types of Academic Sources.

Types of Sources and Where to Find Them, Part 1: Primary Sources (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Types of Sources and Where to Find Them, Part 2: Secondary Sources (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Conducting a Literature Review

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research

What is a "peer review" journal?