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Finding Quality Websites and Peer-Reviewed or Scholarly Articles

For research purposes you want to try and stick with ‘Peer-Reviewed or Scholarly’ sources. For other APA formatted papers, check with your instructor on reference requirements.

If the requirements aren’t specified, your instructor will be able to provide you with the information on what references you are allowed to use. Many instructors will only allow you to use one reference that is not from a scholarly journal or ‘refereed’ source. That means that all of your other references will have to be obtained from a ‘juried,’ ‘refereed,’ ‘peer-reviewed,’ or ‘scholarly’ site (note: not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed).

What does this mean? Generally the terms ‘juried,’ ‘peer-reviewed,’ and ‘refereed’ are interchangeable and refer to articles or websites that go through a professional editorial process which includes an impartial review and approval by peers who are recognized as experts in the field.

A scholarly journal is one that has articles written by scholars or researchers. These articles generally include reports on original research, theory, or experimentation and include footnotes and bibliographies that cite the author’s sources. They can usually be found on university websites, academic websites, or professional organization web pages.

Where can I go to find appropriate research materials?

  • Click here to go to the NAU Online Library.
  • Databases such as EBSCO and ProQuest, allow you to limit your search to scholarly or peer-reviewed journals.
  • Google Scholar is another tool that can assist you in searching for literature from many disciplines and sources. However, not all resources are peer-reviewed and often times you’ll be asked to pay.   So look in the Online Library first to see if we have the full text:  A to Z.  
  • Wikipedia can also be used as a starting point for research but it is not always accurate and credible because anybody, including you, can change/add information so do not cite anything directly from this site.
  • Review the information on finding a reliable website.