Scholarly sources are works written by academics or other experts to contribute to a particular field(s) by sharing research findings, theories, analyses, insights, news, or summaries of current knowledge. Please note: all peer-reviewed sources are scholarly, but not all scholarly sources are peer-reviewed.
Your best strategy is to start with one of the library's databases so that you know the results are scholarly and trustworthy. You may want to start with one of our larger databases linked below, but you're welcome to try any of the sites listed on our A to Z Database list.
You can do that by changing your "Library Links" in settings, or by using our special url that includes an institution code.
Especially when conducting a search using Google Scholar or another search engine, use the SIFT method from Michael Caulfield to better analyze the article.
Do you feel like you're just not getting the results you want? Play with your phrasing!
Try out different variations of your keywords and phrases until you find the right source for your research. Sometimes we just don't speak the same language as these databases, and it is important to persevere in our searches by trying something new.
Imagine your research question is: How do sociodemographic characteristics impact rates of mental health diagnosis for children in foster care?
Below are some possible keywords you can tease out of your main research topic to yield more accurate results:
|foster care||foster child||foster children|
|mental health||psychology||stress response|
|behavior disorders||child welfare||sociodemographic|
|family size||welfare programs|
There are even more search terms you could consider when researching this topic, the limit does not exist! If you're not getting the desired results mix and match keywords as needed.
The following are examples of how you might use Boolean operators in your search:
Social work vs "Social Work"
Using an asterisk (*) at the end of "child" ensures that the databases search for variations such as "children", "childhood", and "child".
Using "AND" combines different ideas together to help narrow your search and ensure that the results include all the different themes or key phrases that you're looking for.
OR expands the search to include variations of key themes or phrases
NOT narrows your search by excluding factors from your results.