Learning Exercise

Scholarly publications and their location

This learning exercise helps students identify, locate, and evaluate scholarly articles.


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Periodicals (sources that are published periodically, such as magazines, newspapers, conference proceedings) are great sources for very specific topics. The term "database" usually refers to subscription database aggregators of periodicals; those aggregators index those sources for easier retrieval. Once you locate the source, you have to evaluate it to see if it's high-quality and relevant. Most professors want students to read scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles for serious research.

Complete the online tutorial on scholarly content at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/doemoff/tutorials/scholarlycontentonline.html

Identify a research topic, and create 1 research question. Locate 2 scholarly articles from 2 different database aggregators (e.g., Academic Search Elite, ProQuest, ERIC, etc.).  An easy way to show your process is to use a table. a. State what keyword combination worked for each database. b. Cite the articles, and say why you chose them. c. Find the full text of 1 article, and state how you did that. d. State what your insights/ahas were about the process.

Technical Notes

Access to online database aggregators


Table that notes a research question, databases, keywords, citation, process;



Locating and evaluating scholarly articles

Research skills

Learning Objectives

Identify scholarly articles

Locate scholarly articles


Clarity and quality of research question

Appropriateness of databases chosen, keywords used

Accuracy of citation

Clarity and accuracy of process description

Clarity and appropriateness of reflection