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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

 

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Search for articles and more by first selecting a database. Choose one from the Popular Databases list below OR browse all databases by clicking on the All Databases (A-Z) link.

Popular Databases

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Scholarly (peer reviewed) Journal Articles in Environmental Science

The Library's online databases contain millions of published articles from popular magazines, scholarly journals and news sources. In these databases, you can search for your topic in thousands of magazines at the same time. The following is a list of the library databases that are good resources for scholarly journal articles.  Note: off-campus access to these databases requires that you sign on using your mymsjc user name and password.

  • Academic Search Premier (Ebsco)
    The world’s largest academic multi-disciplinary (not just environmental science) database, Academic Search Premier provides full text for nearly 4,700 publications, including full text for more than 3,600 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage spans virtually every area of academic study and offers information dating as far back as 1975. This database is updated on a daily basis via EBSCOhost. Make sure you click on the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals box when searching Academic Search Premier for journal articles.
     
  • GreenFile (Ebsco)
    GreenFILE offers well-researched information covering all aspects of human impact to 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. The database provides indexing and abstracts for more than 384,000 records, as well as Open Access full text for more than 4,700 records. Make sure you click on the "Peer reviewed" box when searching this collection for journal articles.