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IDS 340: Making Democracy and Social Justice in the U.S. (Professor Ardon) [Spring 2022]

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:
      • Critical Sociology
      • Journal of Applied Sociology
      • American Sociological Review
  • structured format (abstract, introduction, etc...)
  • extensive references at the end

Most Useful

Also Useful


Tips Examples
Use keywords, not long search phrases Instead of searching for "How does the indigenous land rights movement intersect with climate justice?"


Use keywords such as: indigenous land rights movement, climate justice

To get more focused results:

Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

Use AND to combine different keywords



"indigenous land rights" AND "climate justice"

To get broader results:

Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords

Truncate words that have a variety of endings with a *


(decolonization or structural inequities)


decoloniz* = decolonize, decolonization

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