Short cuts to finding quality journal articles

Our two biggest business databases (EBSCO Business Source Complete and Proquest Business Collection) are excellent places to look for journal articles for an assignment. Given that many assignment briefs specifically ask for students to find “academic journals”, “quality journal articles” or “academic literature” it is particularly useful that both our databases allow you to filter results to academic journals. However, they both do this slightly differently…

EBSCO Business Source Complete has the option both before and after searching to limit your results to “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals”. You can also use their “Source Type” filter to select “Academic Journals”:

Screenshot of EBSCO search result filters showing "Academic Journals" option

 

EBSCO defines these as “Peer-reviewed journals are publications that include only those articles that have been reviewed and/or qualified by a selected panel of acknowledged experts in the field of study covered by the journal.” They also have further information on how they classify journals in their knowledge base which states that “Academic Journals” are ” journals that publish articles which carry footnotes and bibliographies, and whose intended audience is comprised of some kind of research community”.

Proquest Business Collection has two separate options:

Screenshot from Proquest showing the "peer reviewed" and "scholarly journals" options

“Peer reviewed” = defined as “a publication in which articles go through an official editorial process that involves review and approval by the author’s peers (people who are experts in the same subject area). Most (but not all) scholarly publications are peer reviewed. Some trade publications are peer reviewed. ProQuest uses Ulrichsweb as the primary reference source to categorize peer reviewed publications.”

“Scholarly Journals” = defined as “a scholarly journal is a publication that is authored by academics for a target audience that is mainly academic. The scholarly journal printed format isn’t usually a glossy magazine, and it is published by a recognized society with academic goals and missions. The ProQuest criteria states the publication must be academic in focus with the intent to report on or support research needs as well as advance one’s knowledge on a topic or theory. The publication will be targeted for professional or academic researchers and have in-depth analysis typically focusing on one discipline or academic field. The publication will likely be peer reviewed or refereed by external reviewers. The publisher should be a professional association or an academic press.”

The distinctions being made in the databases reflect the fact that:

  • Peer review is a quality assurance process which may be used by some non-academic journals too (e.g. trade publications)
  • “Academic” and/or “Scholarly” are used to designate that the journal is intended for an academic audience (or for researchers) and that articles will have footnotes and references in academic style.
  • Not all “academic” journals will be peer-reviewed – and for some “peer-reviewed” journals not ALL their content may be peer-reviewed (e.g. editorials, book reviews).

Whilst Google Scholar may state that it indexes “scholarly information” (precise definition not supplied), it is quick and easy to use our two databases with these filter options applied to make sure you are focussing on top quality material for assignments.

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