What is Scholarly?
Tips for Database Searching
1. Limits: To focus your search, utilize database features that allow you to specify criteria such as date, language and publication type, e.g. peer reviewed journals
2. Sort Order: Note how your search results are organized - many databases sort by date (most recent articles appear first) rather than relevance
3. Subject Terms: Pay attention to the subject terms because they can lead to other relevant articles on your topic
5. Not Satisfied? If you are not finding relevant results about your topic, try different combinations of search terms, or select another database to search
Search Strategy #1
If you are unfamiliar with the scholarly journals in your discipline, one strategy for identifying influential titles is to browse a tool called Journal Citation Reports. This database assigns impact factors to journals. As a general rule, the higher the impact factor, the more prestigious the journal.
Search Strategy #2
Use the Subject Guides to identify relevant article databases in your discipline. Searching a database allows you to view citations to articles published in hundreds of different journals. Some databases include information from conference proceedings and other publication types as well.
Search Strategy #3
Another tool that may help lead you to discipline-specific magazine articles, blogs, reports and other types of information sources published by professional associations in your area is called the Occupational Outlook Handbook, from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Search the Occupational Outlook Handbook by job title, e.g. civil engineer, microbiologist, economist, psychologist
2. Select the appropriate link from your search results to view details about your occupation
3. Navigate to the More Info tab for a listing of professional associations and resources
4. Explore the sites listed for additional sources you can use for your discourse analysis, e.g. American Society for Microbiology, American Society for Cell Biology