Answered By: Veronica Bielat
Last Updated: Feb 08, 2023     Views: 2735

What's a scholarly journal article?

See the video for a brief introduction to identifying a scholarly journal article.

A scholarly journal is a periodical publication which contains articles written by scholars and researchers. These authors are not paid by the publication. Instead, their articles are judged for quality (this is called "refereed") by a editorial board comprised of their intellectual peers (the "peer review" process), and if they are considered to meet the standards of the scholarly journal, they are published in the journal.

How do I find scholarly journal articles?

You can locate scholarly journals in many of the Wayne State Libraries Article Databases. Look for a check box on the search screen that indicates "scholarly" or "peer review", or look in your search results for a link that can narrow your search to Scholarly Journals, Peer Reviewed Journals, Academic Journals or Refereed Journals. You will find articles from scholarly journals there.

What's an empirical research article and how do I find those?

Empirical research is defined as research based on observed and measured phenomena. It is research that derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. Articles reporting on empirical research can be quite long, and almost always contain the following sections:

  • An introduction and literature review of related research (and a list of references at the end of the article)
  • A statement of the research question(s) and method used to gather the data
  • Analysis of the results of the data gathered (this may be quantitative or qualitative)
  • A discussion or conclusion
  • A substantial list of the references consulted throughout the article

This PowerPoint illustrates what you can look for to help you Identify an Empirical Research Article. When in doubt, contact your professor or a librarian to get a second opinion regarding whether an article is reporting empirical research.

Locating Empirical Research articles

Some databases allow you to search for empirical research articles similar to searching by keyword. In other databases, that process may be a bit more difficult. This handout Locating Empirical Research Articles, describes how you can search some of the library's databases to locate empirical research articles.


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