SOWK 3500: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I: Journal Articles

a guide to library resources, for students in SOWK 3500

Journal Article Databases

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What is peer review?

Peer-reviewed (or refereed):  Refers to articles that have undergone a rigorous review process, often including revisions to the original manuscript, by peers in their discipline, before publication in a scholarly journal.  This can include empirical studies, review articles, meta-analyses among others.

Watch this quick video by North Carolina State University

To determine if a journal is peer reviewed or not -- 

If it's online, go to the journal home page and check under About This Journal. Often the brief description of the journal will note that it is peer-reviewed or refereed or will list the Editors or Editorial Board.

Another fast way of determining if a journal is Peer Reviewed or Scholarly, is to search for the title of the journal  in: Ulrichsweb

The Referee Shirt icon indicates the journal is refereed or peer reviewed.

But be careful:  A journal can be refereed/peer-reviewed and still have non-peer reviewed articles in it. Generally if the article is an editorial, brief news item or short communication, it's not been through the full peer-review process. Many library databases will allow you to limit your search to only peer reviewed articles.

Search Tips

Tip: Using ANDOR, and NOT in your searches. AND, OR, and NOT are Boolean Operators that can be used in most databases and search engines.

AND - I have included the word AND between each search term in the search query example above, so that the database will return only results that contain every one of these key terms. By including AND between each search term, I have limited my search results and will receive fewer but more relevant articles in my results list. 

OR - you can use OR between terms that have similar meanings, to expand your search results and receive results that contain either of the terms or both of the terms separated by OR. For example, the search query, "vocational rehabilitation or disability rehabilitation" will return all results that contain either vocational rehabilitation or disability rehabilitation or that contain both terms. 

NOT - Put NOT between two terms to specify that you want to receive results that contain the first term and not the term following the NOT. For example, the search query, "vocational rehabilitation not career counseling" will bring back results that contain the term, vocational rehabilitation but that do not contain the term, career counseling.

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