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Environmental Science 101: Finding Journal Articles

What's the difference between scholarly and popular sources?

Your instructor said that you cannot use the Internet to find sources for your paper. Instead, you have to use "scholarly journals" and other academic resources from the library. So what does that mean?

Scholarly journals are published by universities, societies, or associations of specialized fields. Articles are written by scholars in that field who present the results of original research and experimentation or provide technical or professional information. They go through a peer-review evaluation process before being published. Peer-reviewed articles are reviewed by other scholars in the same field who provide feedback about the article's quality, accuracy, relevance to scholarship in the field, validity of research methodology and procedures, and more.

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly journal images

  • Focused on a particular field of study
  • Based on original research or experimentation
  • Written by scholars or experts in a particular field
  • Read by professionals, students or educators in the subject area
  • Use scholarly, technical, research-oriented language
  • Include references, bibliographies or footnotes
  • Contain little or no advertising

Popular Magazines

Popular magazine images

  • General interest stories or entertainment information
  • Based on fact-finding and/or opinion
  • Written by staff writers or journalists
  • Read by the general public
  • Easy to understand language
  • Usually do not include references
  • Contain lots of colorful advertising

Start Your Research Here




Scholarly (peer reviewed) Journal Articles in Environmental Science

The Libraries' databases contain millions of published articles from scholarly journals, popular magazines,and news sources. In these databases, you can search for your topic in thousands of sources at the same time. The following databases are a good place to start searching for scholarly journal articles related to environmental science. 

Note: Sign in using your mymsjc username and password if you are accessing these resources off campus.

  • Academic Search Complete
    This multi-disciplinary database provides access to an extensive collection of full-text peer-reviewed journals, magazines, periodicals, reports, books and videos that meets the needs of scholars in virtually every discipline. Make sure you click on the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals box to limit your results to scholarly articles.
  • GreenFile
    GreenFILE offers well-researched information covering all aspects of human impact on the environment. Its collection of scholarly, government, and general-interest titles includes content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more. Make sure you click on the "Peer reviewed" box to limit your results to journal articles.