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What are Scholoary or Peer Reviewed Articles?

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Sometimes called scholarly, peer reviewed, academic, or even "refereed', these terms all refer to journals that require review by a group of experts in the field before an article can be published. These experts are looking for things like appropriate methodology, proper research and citations, advancements to the field, etc. These articles are typically for other scholars with a high level of knowledge in the area of publication. The purpose is typically to advance the field of study, and share developments made by scholars.

Look for the option in databases to narrow your search by peer reviewed, scholarly, or ‘refereed’

Learn more about the process video from the University of Kansas: Peer Review In Three Minutes

Other kinds of articles

Popular articles are written for a general audience. These articles can inform, entertain, give the opinions of individuals, talk about current events, sell products, or generate money. News, magazines, blogs, social media, TV shows, opinion articles, and many kinds of websites fit into this category.

Trade or professional journals are intended to share practice information with professionals and practitioners in a profession. These articles are usually chosen for publication by an editor and not a group of experts. They may also include advertisements, and flashy images that you don't usually see in peer-reviewed journals. 


Top Databases for History

More Useful Databases

For a full list of History related databases click here.

Search for Articles Using OneSearch

In addition to books, the OneSearch brings together most of the Journals and articles that CSULA subscribes to, and uses natural language searching.

After searching your topic, narrow your search by using the limiters such as

  • Peer Reviewed Journals
  • Articles
  • Publication Date


    Export Search Results to RefWorks

  • Save the article records by clicking on "Save this record" link
  • Click "My Saved Records" link on the upper right side of the page
  • Click "Export to Refworks" link and "Export" button
  • The RefWorks page should open and you login using your RefWorks account ID and password
  • If you don't have a RefWorks account, click "Sign up for a New Account" link to create a RefWorks account for yourself.

Search for Journal by Name

JOURNAL SEARCH (Search for Known Articles from Citations)

  • If you have a citation or known journal name and want to find whether the journal is in the library, go to the library web home page, click on Journals tab.


Sangster, Joan. 2007. Making a Fur Coat: Women, the Labouring Body, and Working-Class History. International Review of Social History. 52, no. 2: 241-270.

  • Enter the journal name or keywords from the journal title, e.g., International Review of Social History
  • You will find the following three situations:
    • the journal is available electronically in one or more databases.
    • the journal is available in print or microfilm in the library
    • you can then select a database or Paper Holdings that covers the journal you are searching for. You need to make sure that your selection covers the publication date of your article. In this example, your article is published in 2007, so all three listed databases cover it and you can use any one of them to access your article online.  
    • nothing found -- If you don’t see the journal listed in the result page, click on the Interlibrary Loan Service link and request the article via Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad).


Searching with Keywords

Library databases don't search using full sentences. Instead, use keywords to search to get the best result. Keywords are the essential words in your research question that focus on the main concepts you are interested in. Other words are non-essential to searching. The keywords are highlighted in the research question below:

Research question: What is the connection between race and police brutality?

Connecting words and other search tricks

Using connecting words like AND, OR, & NOT can help you find what you are looking for. 

  • use AND to connect terms that you that are all needed
    • race AND police brutality
  • use OR to search for synonyms and related terms
    • race OR ethnicity OR racism OR minorities
    • police brutality OR excessive force OR police shootings
  • use NOT to exclude terms that are unwanted
    • police brutality NOT riots
  • use quotation marks "" around phrases to get exact results
    • "use of force"

Learn more about using and generating keywords with this tutorial from Cal State University Dominguez Hills: Developing Keywords

Google Scholar

With Google Scholar you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.

Be sure to link Google Scholar to the MSMU Library to get free access to many library resources. To do this from the Google Scholar homepage, click on Settings in the upper-right corner, or from the menu. Click on "Library Links" on the left. Type in "CSULA" or  "Cal State Los Angeles" and then check the box that says "MSMU Library- Full-Text @ MSMU". Now your results will link to the library's resources. 

Open Access Journals

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300