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Social Work: A Search for Sources

Finding Scholarly Articles


What are Peer-Reviewed Articles?

Often, a Professor will specify that articles need to be peer-reviewed, scholarly or refereed ...(they all mean the same thing).
A peer-review process means that other scholars / experts in the field have reviewed the article's content prior to publication and deemed it of a scholarly nature.

Some common components of a peer reviewed article are:

  1. It will have an abstract - a brief paragrah that describes the content of the article. TIP: If you cannot understand the abstract, you definitely wills struggle to be able to understand the article!
  2. It will have a bibliography, footnotes or both - sources will be clear.
  3. It will have authority - the author's credentials / affiliation will be clearly stated.
  4. It will be technical and contain specific terminology relative to the topic and/or graphs, charts or complex mathematical equations/formulas.
  5. It will be likely be substantially longer than a magazine article.

Right away this tells you NOT to search in popular magazines, newspapers, trade journals and Google.

Yes, there is Google Scholar, but often times once an article is finally located there is a fee to obtain it. Your best bet is to check the Molloy databases, where access to everything is FREE. More on searching smart in Google Scholar...

How do I find Peer-Reviewed Articles?

These types of articles are ONLY found within Scholarly Journals. The best way to access scholarly journals is through our databases; these can be filtered to display only articles that are peer reviewed. Every database displays scholarly journals a little differently.

Video: How to Identify Scholarly Articles

The following brief video will introduce students to identifying scholarly / peer reviewed sources in databases. 

Cited References

Why would you care about this?

Illustration of a Stop Sign that stays "1 Stop Shopping"Cited references are good, because they offer related articles and if available, hyperlinks to access them. In this way, students maybe able to find a multitude of resources just by clicking into a single article result. Here's how it works:

When a user initiates a Basic or Advanced keyword search, appropriate Cited References or Times Cited in this Database links are presented with the search results. When clicked, a Cited References link will present a list of records cited in the original article. If a user selects one or more of those references, and then clicks the Related Records button, the References sub-tab will present a list of records related to the original article. These records are sorted by relevance, based on the greatest number of shared cited references.

If a user clicks the Times Cited in this Database link on a result, the Citing Articles sub-tab will present a list of records that cite the original article. Cited References and Times Cited in this Database links are also displayed on the article detail page.

Additionally, users can search by Cited References. This functionality can be found on the search screen's toolbar button labeled Cited References. On the Cited References search screen, users can enter search terms in any or all of these fields: Cited Author, Cited Title, Cited Source, Cited Year or All Citation Fields, and then conduct a search.*

*information courtesy of EBSCO publishing.