How to Do Library Research

Is This Source Scholarly?

Most of your assignments will require scholarly sources to support your writing. But what is a scholarly source? Watch the video below to understand the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly sources.  

Watch the What is a Scholarly Source video video

For more information on evaluating health information, go to the National Library of Medicine webpage below.

Is This Source Peer-Reviewed?

Some of your assignments may require peer-reviewed information. Peer review is a process in which an article submitted for publication in a journal is reviewed by a panel of experts in that journal’s field. If these experts determine that the findings in the article are scientifically sound, they usually request revisions for the author to make in order to publish. This process means that a peer-reviewed article is accurate and scholarly because its claims have been verified independently by experts in the field.

Note! Peer review is not perfect! Some reputable journals, such as The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, have published articles that underwent peer review but still contained objectively incorrect conclusions. Always verify your information by checking multiple sources for corroboration.

Here are some tips for limiting your search to peer-reviewed articles from the Search Everything box on the library homepage.

  1. Enter your search terms and select Search.
  2. From the results page, select the Peer-reviewed Journals and Articles checkboxes on the left side of the page.
  3. Select the Apply Filters button at the bottom when you are done adding all the filters you are interested in.

What is the Study Type?

Some of your assignments may require a specific study type, such as a systematic review, quantitative study or a primary source. While the librarians can't help you determine what type of study is being reported in an article, we have some tips for finding and identifying them. Watch the videos below to learn more about quantitative and qualitative research and systematic reviews. Go to the research guide or FAQs below the video for more information on other study types.