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Articles: What are scholarly articles? How can I find some?
What is a scholarly article?
Scholarly articles are written by researchers, many of whom work at colleges or universities, but you will also find them written by authors from research institutions or similar organizations. Scholarly articles typically convey the results of research studies, discuss theories, or otherwise explore a discipline. They are written by researchers for other researchers and typically assume that the reader already understands the basic concepts.
So scholarly articles are
- written by researchers (like your professors) to be read by other scholars (including other professors, researchers, and undergraduate and graduate students)
- written to explore research and ideas to increase our knowledge and understanding
- a conversation between scholars to discuss and examine research, methods, and theories
- written by scholars and reviewed by scholars. This process is known as peer review
How do I find scholarly sources?
- Search It can help you find many articles from many different databases and you can make sure that your results are "scholarly" by applying the "Peer-Reviewed Journals" filter to your searches.
- Journal articles and more can be found in Kansas State University Libraries' databases. Some databases only include scholarly sources, and others will permit you to search only scholarly sources or view only scholarly sources.
- Books can be found in our library catalog and in our databases of books. Many are written by university professors and published by university presses.
You will find scholarly articles for every field, but do be aware that a scholarly article in biochemistry is going to be a bit different from a scholarly article in modern languages.
If you aren't sure you are looking at a scholarly article, take a look at the Anatomy of a Scholarly Article from North Carolina State University or the Scholarly vs. Popular Articles comparison guide from University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries.
Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory provides information on over 210,000 regularly and irregularly published journals. If you aren't sure if an article you found is scholarly, Ulrich's is a great place to look for more information because it will indicate the intended audience and whether a journal publishes peer-reviewed (or refereed) articles.