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Arkansas State University

Scholarly Journals: Finding Scholarly Journals

How to tell scholarly Journals from other periodicals.

Finding Scholarly Journals

You will never find a scholarly journal at a news stand or in the grocery store.  The publications you find there are always either general/news publications or popular magazines.  Scholarly journals are bought by subscription straight from the publisher.  To find them, you must either visit the library or use a database.

If you visit the library, staff at the service desk can help you find scholarly journals.

Usually, the most convenient way to find scholarly journals is through a database. Some databases contain a variety of sources and will have either a "peer reviewed" or "scholarly" button or box to limit to scholarly journals. Other databases, like JSTOR or Project Muse, won't have a button or box because they are aimed at scholarly research and only contain scholarly journals and ebooks.

But what if you don't know which database to use or how to start your search?

A good place to start your search for scholarly journals is OneSearch. It has information on a wide range of subjects and pulls results from several different library resources. So unless you're looking for something very specific, you should find something here. That said, don't limit yourself to just this tool -- there are a lot of amazing databases out there!

OneSearch Introduction

OneSearch is a library tool that allows you to search several library resources at once, including the Library Catalog, research databases, streaming video, and more. It's your "one search" to finding books, scholarly articles, magazines, newspapers, and video. Much like Google, it searches and finds resources from other tools and displays the results in one place. It does not actually have any content within itself.

OneSearch is a general discovery tool. The "discovery" part is that it gives you a good idea of what is available for any given topic and it's easy to use. The "general" part is that it pulls information on most subjects. This makes it great for broad searches or for beginning your research, but you may find that the more specific and focus your research needs are, the less helpful OneSearch is for you.

OneSearch is searchable directly on the library's home page.

OneSearch Box on Library Homepage


OneSearch Basic

The OneSearch box on the library's home page is the basic search option. It's pretty straightforward and easy to use:

1. Type your search terms (keywords) here.

2. Don't forget to hit search (or enter on your keyboard)!

3. Before you search, you can select one of three limits:

Full Text Online: Click this to limit to resources available completely online (ebooks, streaming video, online articles, etc).

Scholarly & Peer Reviewed: Click this box to limit your search to scholarly and peer reviewed items only. If you want full text, scholarly resources, you can click both this box and the full text one! (Note: OneSearch can't verify if something is actually scholarly, so you may need to double check).

Books: Click this box to limit the search to items physically in the library.

4. If you want more options and limits before you search, click the "Advanced Search" link to go to the advanced search.


Want to become an OneSearch expert? Check out our OneSearch Guide!

Choosing a Research Database

While OneSearch is a great starting tool, it does not search everything the library has access to. There are some databases that OneSearch only searches part of, like JSTOR, and other databases, like CINAHL, that it doesn't search at all. Here's a short video to help you pick the right research database: