ID 651 - Designing Supportive Environments

This class guide supports student research for the Fall 2021 session of ID 651.

Library Research Guide

Scholarly Articles & Peer Review

Scholarly Articles 

  • written by scholars,
  • often for an academic press or the journal of a professional association/organization,
  • editors are responsible for determining:
    • relevance
    • quality
  • may include an article, book chapter, a study, etc.
  • utilize the accepted professional vocabulary of an academic discipline 

Peer Review Process

  • peer-reviewed publications are also known as "refereed",
  • "peer review" refers to a specific pre-publication process,
  • in this process, scholarly works are formally reviewed by a panel of experts in an author's discipline, 
  • this a structured editorial process ensures:
    • a sufficient degree of academic rigor
    • high standards of research

NOTE: Peer-reviewed works are considered scholarly; but not all scholarly works have been submitted through a peer review process.

Using Ulrich's

Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory provides information about more than 210,000 journals. If you are unsure if an article you found is scholarly or whether it has been through the peer review process, Ulrich's is a great place to look up the title of the journal to find out more information.

Titles that are peer-reviewed are indicated by the black and white referee's jersey ("refereed" is another term for peer-reviewed). Note that there may be some parts of the journal (e.g. letters to the editor, book reviews, etc.) that are not peer-reviewed.

Screenshot of Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory highlighting referees jersey as icon denoting peer-reviewed souce       

Keyword Advice

Search Tips: Using Keywords

Keywords: It can be helpful to track the terminology/keywords that work best as well as possible synonyms and experiment with different search terms. 

Advanced Search/Guided Search: these options offer multiple search boxes allowing greater control and use of Boolean Operators (AND & OR & NOT).

  • AND = both concepts must be present, helps limit the search
  • OR = great for synonyms, helps broaden the search while staying within the subject area
  • NOT = exclude an unrelated term, or to weed out irrelevant results

Examples of advanced searches:

  • "aging-in-place" AND (home OR house)
  • "Nigel Coates" NOT "book review"
  • "early childhood environments" AND (interior OR architecture OR design)

Subject Headings: "Subject Headings" or "Descriptors" help narrow your search. These tags group items by category. Different databases recognize different terms and as you find them, you can construct your search using the terminology of that database. 

Truncation: Using truncation, a search for teen* collects "teen", "teens", "teenager", "teenagers", etc. by adding all possible endings to the word stem (broadens your search while staying on topic). The truncation symbol may differ by resource.

Wildcard: Use "wildcard".  For example: wom?n searches for "women" or "woman"

Help: look for the “Help” section or Ask a Librarian.