Sometimes called scholarly, peer-reviewed, or academic, these terms all refer to journals that require review by a group of experts in the field before an article can be published. These experts are looking for things like appropriate methodology, proper research and citations, advancements to the field, etc. These articles are typically for other scholars with a high level of knowledge in the area of publication. The purpose is typically to advance the field of study and share developments made by scholars.
Look for the option in databases to narrow your search by peer-reviewed or scholarly.
Learn more about the process video from the University of Kansas: Peer Review In Three Minutes
Popular articles are written for a general audience. These articles can inform, entertain, give the opinions of individuals, talk about current events, sell products, or generate money. News, magazines, blogs, social media, TV shows, opinion articles, and many kinds of websites fit into this category.
Trade or professional journals are intended to share practice information with professionals and practitioners in a profession. These articles are usually chosen for publication by an editor and not a group of experts. They may also include advertisements and flashy images that you don't usually see in peer-reviewed journals.
When searching Google, you might begin by asking "why do police kill people of color more?" Searching Library databases are a little different, and they don't respond as well to full sentences. Instead, use keywords to search to get the best result.
Keywords are the essential words in your research question that focus on the main concepts you are interested in. Other words are not essential to searching. The keywords are highlighted in the research question below:
Research question: What is the connection between race and police brutality?
Connecting words and other search tricks
Using connecting words like AND, OR, & NOT can help you find what you are looking for.
With Google Scholar, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other websites.
Be sure to link Google Scholar to the Cal State LA Library to get free access to many library resources.
To access the library resources, click on the links in the right-hand column, like Find it @ CalState LA.
If you find a journal article that is relevant to you, but the library doesn't have access to, we can get it for you from another library!
Steps to Request:
Open-Access journals are journals that do not require a paid subscription to access, and are open to anyone to read.