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COMM 110/130 Love: Scholarly Research: Articles

What is a Scholarly Article?

Scholarly articles are written by experts in the field and, additionally, peer reviewed by a panel experts in the field.  They tend to include a lot of research and data, and the information in the article is backed up by a list of references. 

Example of a Journal with Scholarly Articles

American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Popular articles are often written by journalists for a general audience and are not reviewed by experts in the field.  Popular articles rarely include references.

Example of a Magazine with Popular Articles

cover of people magazine with a picture of justin bieber


Why Use Databases?

Searching the Internet is so easy, but:

  • The results aren't organized in the most helpful manner
  • Finding quality information is a challenge
    • anyone can put up a website
  • It's difficult to find peer-reviewed articles
  • Not all websites are updated regularly
  • Websites change or disappear
    • retrieving the content later may be impossible
  • Some websites cost money to access

Library databases are a better way to search to:

  • Find quality information
  • Locate articles by subject, author, title, publication, or date
  • Limit results to scholarly/peer-reviewed articles
  • Combine search terms for better results
  • Discover terms to search with
  • Find updated information
  • Retrieve articles later
    • most material remains in the database
  • Cite your sources
    • many contain a citation tool to assist you
  • Save time
  • Save money--they're free for students, staff & faculty!

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Academic Search Complete

Communication & Mass Media Complete (EBSCO)

Communications and Mass Media (Gale OneFile)



Academic OneFile (Gale)

Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection Database

Opposing Viewpoints In Context

CQ Researcher