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Key databases for scholarly articles

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Tips for Finding Articles

Google Scholar

Google Scholar searches across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. These resources can be very useful, but keep in mind not all of them are peer-reviewed.

How to access UW Restricted materials in Google Scholar:

  1. From the Google Scholar homepage, open the menu in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
  2. Open the Settings menu and click the "Library links" option on the left side of the screen.
  3. Using the search box, search on "University of Washington" to reveal the access link labeled "University of Washington - Full Text @ UW." Check the box next to this option, then click "save."

Tip: If you don't see the "University of Washington - Full Text @ UW" link on the first page of results, click the ">" icon to see more results. ‚Äč

Learn More

In most databases, if the full text of the article is not readily available, you will see a Check for Full Text button. 

Clicking on the button will do one of the following:

a) take you to the article - look for PDF full text,
b) take you to the catalog - click on the link next to Content Available
c) link you to Interlibrary Loan so you can request a copy of the article

A peer-reviewed (or refereed) article has been read, evaluated, and approved for publication by scholars with expertise and knowledge related to the article’s subjects and contents.  Peer-reviewing helps insure that articles provide accurate, verifiable, and valuable contributions to a field of study.

  • The peer-review process is anonymous, to prevent personal biases and favoritism from affecting the outcomes.  Reviewers read manuscripts that omit the names of the author(s).  When the reviewers’ feedback is given to the author(s), the reviewers’ names are omitted.
  • Editors of journals select reviewers who are experts in the subjects addressed in the article.  Reviewers consider the clarity and validity of the research and whether it offers original and important knowledge to a particular field of study.

Step 1:  Check the peer review status of the JOURNAL.

  • Search for your title in Ulrichsweb,a database of information about journals and magazines.
  • When you find your journal, look for a "referee shirt" symbol.  The symbol will appear next to any journal title that is peer reviewed and/or refereed (interchangeable terms).

Step 2:  If the JOURNAL is peer reviewed, then assess the ARTICLE.

  • Is it a full research article?  Then you can be confident that your article is peer reviewed.
  • If your article is a short news brief, an editorial, a letter to the editor, or a re-print of a conference proceeding, it is generally not peer reviewed.