Scholarly or Academic Articles

How to Identify a Scholarly or Academic Article

  • These are articles written by scholars or researchers and usually report on original research or experimentation. The academic credentials of the author are provided.
  • The articles have been reviewed by other scholars. We call this peer-review. The reviewers agree the articles represent good scholarship or research.
  • Scholarly publications are not general interest publications. The articles use the terminology or language of the discipline. They assume the reader has some technical knowledge of the subject. They can be challenging for student researchers to read.
  • The articles are footnoted or have in-text citations,  and/or have a bibliography.

It can be tricky for student researchers to find scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles. This is because academic journals are usually only available through [very expensive] institutional subscriptions. Luckily, we do have access to some subscriber services, plus some good open-access sources.

Try the ORC (Online Reference Centre)

The Online Reference Centre has credible academic resources chosen specifically for Alberta students. 

For home use, see the WCHS Librarian for the username and password.

Try the Calgary Public Library

The Calgary Public Library has a fantastic collection of e-resources -- including journal indexes -- for students.  You can access these with your CBE credentials:

  • library card number/username: enter your gmail account
  • password: 1234567

These journals (and many more!) are available:

  • Canadian Reference Centre
  • Art Full Text
  • Business Source Complete
  • Canadian Business & Current Affairs database
  • Medline
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapaers
  • Literature Resource Centre
  • Alberta Research Portal

Try Open-Access Journals Online

The following websites connect you to open-access academic journals without a subscription:

Try Google Scholar

Google isn't your best resource for finding academic or scholarly articles. Google was designed to find websites, not scholarly works or articles.

Still, Google Scholar can be a helpful tool for research if you know how to use it effectively. Remember though: not all of your search results will give you access to the full article. Often, a subscription is still required. For this reason, you will likely use Google Scholar in conjunction with another tool or resource. Check out these resources for making the most of Google Scholar:

Google Scholar's Search Tips
A 7 minute video on using Google Scholar Effectively:

Finding Scholarly Articles Takes Patience...

In the age of Google, we're used to instant results. But academic research is seldom that easy. You will need to be patient. You will likely need to conduct several searches in several places, using many different search terms, to find the best material. Be patient...persistence pays off!

Need help? Ask your WCHS librarian!

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