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SSCI 301: Introduction to the Social Sciences (Spring 2021) (Professor Weigt)

Scholarly Journal Articles


How do we know a source we've found is a scholarly journal article? Look for these clues:

  • written by scholars (with affiliations to universities or research institutions)
  • written for other scholars and students (and therefore difficult to read)
  • published in an academic journal with a peer-review process
    • Here are some examples:
      • The American Political Science Review
      • Political Science Quarterly
      • International Journal of Politics, Culture, & Society
      • International Journal of Politics and Security
  • structured format (from A Political Science Guide):
    • (ex. introduction, theoretical framework/literature review, case study, conclusion)
  • extensive references at the end

Most Useful

Also Useful

Tips Examples
  • Use keywords, not long search phrases


   Instead of searching for "How does economic inequality and systemic racism permeate the                         American food system?"break down your search into the main keywords:

   economic inequality, systemic racism, food system, America

  • To get more focused results:
    • Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together
    • Use AND to combine different keywords
   "food system" AND "economic inequality"
  • To get broader results:
    • Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords
    • Truncate words that have a variety of endings with *    

   ("racial bias" OR discrimination) AND ("food desert" OR "food system")


   racis* = racism, racist 

  • Look for ways to limit your search in the database
   You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed) & year of publication