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Finding Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Sources

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What is a scholarly source?

Scholarly sources are

  • written by researchers (like your professors) to be read by other scholars (including other professors, researchers, and undergraduate and graduate students)
  • written to explore research and ideas to increase our knowledge and understanding
  • a conversation between scholars to discuss and examine research, methods, and theories
  • written by scholars and reviewed by scholars, known as peer-reviewed

What is a peer-reviewed source?

A peer-reviewed source has been reviewed and approved by one or more individuals who have expertise in the topic. This process is intended to ensure that only high quality, methodologically sound information is presented.

How can I find scholarly or peer-reviewed sources?

  • In Search It, limit your results by applying the "Peer-Reviewed Journals" filter 
  • K-State Libraries' databases: some databases include only scholarly sources, and others will let you search just for scholarly sources.
  • Books can be found in Search It and in our databases of ebooks.

How do I know I've found a scholarly and/or peer-reviewed source?

If you aren't sure, take a look at the Anatomy of a Scholarly Article from North Carolina State University or at Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory, which provides information on over 210,000 regularly and irregularly published journals. Ulrich's is a great place to look for more information because it indicates the intended audience and whether a journal publishes peer-reviewed articles.

See also:

For information on finding primary sources, please visit our Library Basics research guide. 

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