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Databases for Scholarly Articles and Subject Specific Databases

Each of the databases below provides coverage of articles published in scholarly journals. Please note that some of these database also includes newspaper and magazine articles and other non-scholarly content, so be certain to limit your search to "scholarly" using the check-box options if you only wish to search scholarly content.

Getting Started!

Welcome! Use the boxes on this page to help you find the following resources related to your paper:

If you need assistance after the session today, please email Gabriella Reznowski at reznowski@wsu.edu, submit a question via Live Chat, or come to the Terrell Library Reference Desk.

If you are still developing a topic, you might want to begin with CQ Researcher, a database of well-written research reports, mainly written by journalists. These reports can provide excellent background information on a topic and include a chronology of the issue and a bibliography for further reading.

 

Can't Find the Full-Text?

When you identify a journal article in a database, or through WSU WorldCat and do not see full text access, click on the "FindIt@WSU" button to see if we might have access to the article in another database. If the "FindIt@WSU" button only displays  an Inter Library Loan option, you will have to order a copy of the article. 

Pew Research Center -

Peer-Reviewed or Popular sources - what's the difference?

Peer-Reviewed articles (sometimes referred to as scholarly or academic articles) are subjected to a very different publication process than an article published in a popular magazine, such as Newsweek, Time, or Popular Science. If you look at a paper copy of a scholarly journal, there are a few things that you will notice to help you identify it as an academic article:

  • There are few, if any, photos or images other than tables and graphs depicting research results
  • The article employs language, or jargon, specific to the discipline
  • The author has heavily cited their sources; you will find a list of "references," "works cited," or a "bibliography" following the article.
  • The scholarly article may begin with an abstract, or summary.
  • There may be information about the author's institutional affiliations (where they research or teach) and/or credentials at the beginning or at the end of the article.
  • There may be information on the publishing timeline, including a "date received," "date revised," and "date accepted for publication."
  • The article may be written by one or more collaborating researchers.
  • The article is generally only available for purchase via subscription, although you may have access through the WSU Libraries.
  • The article contains in-depth research and substantive information.
  • The article may provide a literature review  (a summary of research in the area that has already been conducted on the topic).
  • The article has the potential to create discourse among researchers, fostering communication and enriching the scholarly community.

After being received by a journal editor, a scholarly article is submitted to researchers with some expertise in the field.  The researchers, referred to as "peer reviewers," will read the article and provide feedback to the editor regarding the merits of the article. The peer reviewers may recommend that additional research be conducted, or for the article to be revised.  Generally, the author will have the opportunity to revise the paper, correcting any ambiguous or misleading information. The peer review process is expected to improve the quality of the article and is really an opportunity for the author to receive feedback and suggestions from other researchers.


A popular journal article is not peer-reviewed. Generally, the article will be subjected to the editor's judgment, but will not be submitted to outside reviewers. Popular articles have the following attributes:

  • Sometimes accompanied by glossy photos or advertising
  • Have little or no references at the end of the article
  • Often offer a good overview of a topic, but do not provide in-depth research
  • May provide the most current information on a given topic
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