Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Thigpen Library Research Guides

Periodicals: scholarly articles

find articles in magazines, newspapers, and journals

Journals like newspapers and magazines are periodicals. Unlike a magazine or newspaper a journal is considered a scholarly periodical. Researchers and professors use journals to inform other in their academic field about their research. If a scholarly article is required for a college assignment then you need to search in a journal.

What is a scholarly article?

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association defines a scholarly article as:

... original, primary publications. This means that they have not been previously published, that they contribute to the archive of scientific knowledge, and that they have been reviewed by a panel of peers. The peer-reviewed literature in a field is built by individual contributions that together represent the accumulated knowledge of a field.

When required to use a journal article, typically you need a primary or original publication, such as

  • Report of an empirical study
  • Literature review
  • Theoretical article
  • Methodological article
  • Case study   

CAUTION: Not every article in a journal is a research article. Other types are: brief reports, comments and replies on previously published articles, book reviews, obituaries, letters to the editor, and monographs.

Find a scholarly article

Library databases frequently include articles from scholarly journals. Begin your search with a database suited for your subject and needs. The library's A-Z Database list identifies databases with scholarly journals in the description and with with the graduate cap symbol. Databases allow you to filter or limit your search to scholarly articles.

Scholarly articles found on the web may only allow you to view the article abstract (summary) unless you purchase the article. Do not pay for articles - use a library database or use interlibrary loan (ILL). With ILL the library may be able to get a copy of the article from another library at no cost to you.

Open access journals are another source of free full-text journal articles.

Video: Peer Review in Three Minutes

Peer Review in Three Minutes explains the peer-review publication process for scholarly articles. In this video you learn how articles get peer reviewed and the role peer review plays in scholarly research and publication.

  On the Vol State Need Help page at the end of this video the information on SMS / Text  is outdated. Check our Ask a Librarian web page for ways we can assist you with your research.


Video: From Idea to Library

The 2 ½ minute video From Idea to Library explains research articles. Where do research articles come from? How do they end up in your search results? Watch this video and learn the answers.

  On the Vol State Need Help page at the end of this video the information on SMS / Text  is outdated. Check our Ask a Librarian web page for ways we can assist you with your research.