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Scholarly articles, also known as academic articles, are written by academics or experts and published in the professional field.
The structure of a scholarly article includes:
A peer-reviewed journal article has been read and approved by experts in that field before publishing. This makes them high-quality sources of information.
This video explains the peer-review process for journals.
Scholarly articles, academic articles, peer-reviewed articles. You may have heard these terms, but what to they mean? These all describe the same thing. They are research articles that have been published in scholarly journals.
How does a research article get published in a scholarly journal?
An article reports a scholar's research practice and findings, and is written with an audience of other researchers in mind. In order to be published and accepted by the community, the article must pass several quality tests. The most important of these tests is called "peer-review".
Imagine a researcher who wants to share a discovery with the academic community. They write a draft article describing their research and findings and submit the article for publication in a scholarly journal. Here's where the article has to pass its first test.
The journal's editor reads over the article to decide whether it's a good fit for the journal. If it is, the article is sent to a group of experts to evaluate the article's quality in a process called "peer-review".
This is the article's second and most important test. These experts are the author's peers, as they work in the same research area. They're also sometimes called "referees", so peer-reviewed articles are sometimes called refereed articles.
Each reviewer evaluates the article asking questions to judge the quality and significance of the research, questions like:
Based on the answers to these questions, the reviewers devide whether the article is worthy of publication in the journal. They then make a recommendation to the editor: either approve the article, or reject it.
Even if they approve the article, they usually expect the author to make revisions. The editor, however, makes the final determination whether the article should be published or rejected.
Rejection is common. Once the journal is published, it is made available to subscribers which are usually University libraries. The Library has databases to help you find peer-reviewed research.
Use Ulrichsweb to check whether a journal is peer-reviewed and for other useful information about the journal.
This video shows you how to access and use Ulrichsweb.
Often, you'll be asked to find scholarly or peer-reviewed journals for an assessment task, but not all Library databases give you this search limit, and if you regularly use Google Scholar, you can't limit your search to peer-reviewed journals.
This short video will show you how to access the Ulrichsweb database to check if it is a journal is peer-reviewed or not.
From the Library website, select A-Z Databases. Select "U" and click on Ulrichsweb. Enter your UOW username and password to log in.
This is the Ulrichsweb search screen and in this example we've identified the "Journal of Business Ethics" as the journal title. Enter the journal title into the search box to see if the journal undergoes a peer-review process.
Remember to use the journal title and not an article title.
Look at the results. If you see a black and white striped referees icon to the left of a journal title, this means the journal is peer-reviewed.
We can see the Journal of Business Ethics is peer-reviewed because it has the black and white striped icon next to its name. Let's check another journal.
In this example, I'm trying a journal called "Ethical Consumer". The journal "Ethical Consumer" is not peer-reviewed because there is not black and white striped icon next to the journal name.