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How to Navigate the Library

This guide provides an introduction to library resources and how to find, evaluate, use, and cite them.

Differences Between Scholarly and Popular Articles

Articles from academic and peer-reviewed journals are generally the most credible, relevant, and up-to-date sources for information since they are generally written by subject specialists, experts, and/or professionals in the field.

Articles from magazines and newspapers, which are usually produced for the general public, are usually written by an editorial board or journalists, but they can still be useful sources for general information or for opinion articles.

The chart below explores the differences between scholarly articles you'll find in the SC4 databases versus articles from general magazines and newspapers.

scholaryl articles vs popular articles infographic



Finding Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Articles

When searching SC4 Library online using the OneSearch option, you'll see the box below on the upper left side of the search screen.

refine your search box

Underneath Refine Your Search, you can check the Scholarly & Peer Reviewed option or just the Peer-Reviewed option; both will return searches with academic-quality sources.

You'll also notice the section that says Content Type under Refine Your Search, and by checking Journal Article, Magazine Article, etc. you can further refine the results of your search.


Peer reviewed = Articles read & approved for publication by experts in the field

Experts = People with advanced degrees in the subject or who have worked in the field for many years


Selecting Scholarly/Academic/Peer-Reviewed Articles

Finding Research Articles

Look for the following:

  • An Abstract is at the beginning of the article. This is a summary of the researchers/authors' study methods, arguments, conclusions, and more.
  • Author(s) - Scholarly articles often have two or more authors. The authors' credentials, affiliations, and other information is usually listed on first page of the article, under the title or sometimes on the last page of article.
  • Headings/Sections in the article include:
    • Introduction -- Usually one paragraph, sometimes more, describing the subject of the article
    • Methodology --  Provides information about how data was collected, what data was gathered, and who participated in the study
    • Discussion/Results -- Offers information about the results of the study and what was learned
    • Conclusion -- Summarizes the findings of the research/study and any recommendations or limitations of the study
    • References/Bibliography -- Detailed list of references used in the research is generally found at the end of the article
  • Technical/Specialized Language - Scholarly articles are generally written in formal, technical language.
  • Charts, Graphs, Diagrams, etc. - Scholarly articles are often communicating results of studies and research and so will include charts, graphs, diagrams, and other visual aids.
  • Length - Scholarly articles are usually relatively long; often they are four pages or more.

Your Librarian

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Jane Lewandoski
Phone (810) 989-5640
Text (810) 515-7343