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BIO4990 Senior Capstone in Biological Sciences - Fall 2017 - Johnston

What is a Scholarly, or Peer-Reviewed, Journal?

Peer Review in Three Minutes

From North Carolina State University, this is a three-minute audiovisual presentation explaining peer review.

Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

A peer-reviewed journal contains research articles that have been reviewed and approved for publication in the journal.  "Peers" (selected by the journal publisher) are other respected scholars/researchers in the same field review and recommend the research article.  

Watch a short video, Peer Review in Three Minutes, from North Carolina State University.

The two tutorials recommended below show how to search for peer reviewed articles.

Many more tutorials are listed on the AU Library "Help" page. The page can be found on the library home page.

On the library's Search page, you can access over 60 databases.  There are a few ways to select a database to start your research process:

  1. You can select a subject from the dropdown box to see a list of databases related to that subject
  2. You can search by content, for example, databases that contain newspaper articles will be labeled as such.

Database Searching Tips

Tips below apply to searching of  EBSCO and ProQuest databases.

  • Limits for the Results
    • Peer-reviewed (if required by the instructor)
    • Full-text (.PDF and .HTML) - apply the limit when want full text (immediately available only in the database(s) being searched
  • "Find It" Link - When the full-text limit is absent, "Find It" links in the results list will lead to alternate sources of full text outside the database(s) being searched, or if necessary, the way to request copy.
  • Topic Narrowing - Consider including any of the keywords that will help narrow the search results to literature about global aspects of the topic. Suggestions are below. The truncation tip (see below) can be helpful when adding in the terms below. 
    • copyright, copyrights, etc.
    • patent, patents, patenting, etc.
    • technology
    • ownership
    • intellectual property
  • Truncation - Consider using an asterisk for truncation of keyword terms.  For example, if articles that cover athlete(s) and athletic(s) could be relevant, then type in:  athlet*    This truncation will result in matches with article records that have the words athlete, athletes, athletic, and/or athletics.
  • Phrase Searching - When a topic is accurately represented only or alternately by a well-known, commonly used phrase, put the keyword phrase in quotations, for example "intellectual property".
  • "Title" Field Search Option - Searching the "title (ti)" field only can help if results the results list is very large and many of the records/articles are not relevant.
  • "Subjects" / "Subject Terms" - Look at the subject terms in the article records for ideas about alternate keywords to use in the search; use of the subject terms can improve relevancy of search results.
  • Access Databases from Off Campus Computers - Login to the proxy server will be required. The login page will have instructions to enter your AU username and password.