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How-To Research Tutorials Home

Use this comprehensive list of tutorials and modules to learn how to be a better researcher


How to Locate a Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Article

In OneSearch: 

  1. Enter your search terms into the search box
  2. Select the Search button 
  3. When you get your results. Check the box labeled Peer-Reviewed Journals  located under the Available at SDSU heading under Tweak my results on the left of the page
  4. Select Apply Filters button to update  the results 


In other databases: 

The steps are similar in other platforms or databases.  Look for boxes marked Peer-reviewed, scholarly, or scholarly/ peer-reviewed. 


Reading Scholarly/ Peer Reviewed Articles Strategies

You don’t have to read the entire article in order!

FIRST- Read the Abstract

If the Abstract fits within the scope of your research, read more. If it doesn't, don't bother reading the article.

NEXT- Jump down to the Discussion & Conclusions

This is the essential part of the article; it will tell you what the researchers learned.

THEN- Read the Introduction & Literature review

This will give you background and context.

FINALLY- Read the other sections.

TIP: Don’t forget to look at the References at the end. They can be helpful for building your own bibliography.

Take notes as you go. If you find a quote, write it down with the author's last name and page number that it came from. 

Think critically as you read:

  • What is already known about the this topic?
  • Do you agree with what the author is saying?
  • Does what the author says agree with other information you have found on this topic?

Clues to Peer Review

Magnifying glass

Article Title: is it long and descriptive? 

Author(s): what are the author's credentials? Are they affiliated with a university or research center?

Article Length: is the article at least 5 pages?

Sections: does the article have sections like Abstract, Introduction, Methods, and Conclusions?

References: is there lengthy reference list at the end of the article?

Common Sections

Abstract: concise summary of the research, including purpose, results & implications.

Introduction & Literature Review: Describes problem, importance of research, and previous research on the topic.

Methods: procedures or methods used to carry out research. Varies by discipline.

Results: Data collected as a result of research. Typically given in statistics and in form of tables, charts, and graphs.

Discussion: Summary of results. Implications and directions for future reserach.

References: Works cited in the paper. Useful to find relevant articles.