First, use Google Scholar and search for the title of the article. Look for the link to the pdf or UC eLinks on the right side. If you do not see the article, use the Citation Linker where you should see if the UCSB Library has access to it or use the Request function to request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.
Scholarly journals (also called academic journals) contain articles written by, and addressed to, experts in a discipline. Scholarly journals present the research of experts in a field, although these journals also often carry opinion pieces or even advertisements unique to the field addressed by the journal. Publication cycles vary for scholarly journals, ranging from yearly to monthly but most frequently they are published bimonthly (every other month) or quarterly.
Peer-reviewed journals (also called refereed or juried journals) send submitted articles to one or more experts for review before deciding to publish them. This review process helps ensure that published articles reflect solid scholarship in a field. Most often, the experts reviewing an article make critical comments on the text, comments that the author must incorporate into the article before its publication.
While not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed, it is usually safe to assume that a peer-reviewed journal is also scholarly.
Is it Peer Reviewed?
Many of the journals indexed in specialized databases are scholarly but those databases do not tell you whether a journal is peer reviewed or not.
To find out if a journal is peer reviewed look at the submission process on their website for authors.
You can also ask a reference librarian.
Looking for Review Articles?
These are a great way to get an overview of your topic. Try searching through Annual Reviews, then try your search in any database and use the word "review" as part of your search. UC Library Search and Academic Search Complete have a number of review articles in them. Note that some reviews are actually book reviews.
UC Library Search
Perform your search, then select "Peer Reviewed Journals" under "Show Only" on the left side of the results screen.
A scholarly, multi-disciplinary database providing indexing and abstracts for thousands of journals and other publications. Academic Search Complete includes full-text access to peer-reviewed journals, as well as indexing and abstracts for magazines, monographs, reports, and conference proceedings. The database features some PDF content going back as far as 1867, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format. Searchable cited references are provided for 1,000 journals.
Date Coverage: 1984 to present
Materials Indexed: Book Chapters; Book Reviews; Books; Journal Articles; Magazine Articles; Newspaper Articles
AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access) serves as the catalog and index to the collections of the National Agricultural Library, as well as a primary public source for world-wide access to agricultural information. The database covers materials in all formats and periods, including printed works from as far back as the 15th century. The records describe publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines, including plant and animal sciences, forestry, entomology, soil and water resources, agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, agricultural products, alternative farming practices, and food and nutrition.
Date Coverage: 1970 - present
Materials Indexed: Books; Government Documents; Journal Articles
Annual Reviews is a non-profit organization that provides the worldwide scholarly community with a useful and intelligent synthesis of the primary research literature for a broad spectrum of scholarly disciplines. Each year, Annual Reviews critically reviews the most significant primary research literature to guide you to the principal contributions of the field and help you keep up to date in your area of research.
The Biological Science Collection provides comprehensive coverage of biological science fields including animal behavior, aquatic life and fisheries, chemoreception, biochemistry, ecology, plant science, toxicology, virology, microbiology, immunology genetics, health and safety science, oncogenes, entomology, and endocrinology neuroscience. The resource also includes access to MEDLINE®, and the ability to cross-search with over 30 subject-specialized abstract and citation databases.
Date Coverage: 1982 - present
Materials Indexed: Journal Articles
BioOne Complete provides a unique aggregation of high-impact bioscience research journals, featuring timely content on a wide-array of today’s most pressing topics, including global warming, stem cell research, ecological and biodiversity conservation.
Business Source Complete covers all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics. Additional full text, non-journal content includes financial data, books, monographs, major reference works, book digests, conference proceedings, case studies, investment research reports, industry reports, market research reports, country reports, company profiles, SWOT analyses and more.
Communication Source is the most complete full-text research database for communication studies. It offers hundreds of top communication journals, magazines and other sources covering all related disciplines, including media studies, linguistics, speech pathology, rhetoric and discourse.
Communication Source combines Communication and Mass Media Complete and Communication Abstracts to provide full-text access to more than 700 journals, and indexing and abstracting for more than 1,000 core journals. Coverage dating goes back to 1900.
Content is derived from academic journals, conference papers, conference proceedings, trade publications, magazines and periodicals. Content development for Communication Source is guided by expert advisers who are academic librarians and communication bibliographers from leading international institutions.
Date Coverage: 1977 - present
Materials Indexed: Book Chapters; Books; Journal Articles; Reports
Compendex is the most comprehensive bibliographic database of scientific and technical engineering research available, covering all engineering disciplines. It includes citations and abstracts from engineering journals and conference proceedings.
Provides over 2.2 million citations from over 3,500 journals, serials, maps, theses and dissertations, government publications, books, and reports in the fields of geology and geophysics, including information on energy sources, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, groundwater pollution, nuclear reactor sites, landslides, and erosion, as well as the history of the earth, the structure of the earth, the study of ore deposits, and geostatistics. The database is updated every two weeks with approximately 3,000 new records. Note: GeoRef In Process contains records, not necessarily recent ones, which are currently being indexed by GeoRef. The GeoRef Preview at AGI database contains the most recently indexed records, not yet fully indexed for the main GeoRef file. For the most complete searches, search all three: GeoRef, GeoRef In Process and GeoRef Previews.
Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. The UC has partnered with Google Scholar to allow our users to click on the familiar "UC-eLinks" button to reach full text of some items indexed. Use the "Scholar Preferences" link and select "University of California (UC-eLinks)" before saving your preferences.
Materials Indexed: Artworks; Audio; Biographical Information; Book Chapters; Book Reviews; Books; Business Data; Charts & Graphs; Conference Proceedings; Economic Data; Essays; Financial Data; Government Documents; Images; Journal Articles; Legal Literature; Lyrics; Magazine Articles; Maps; Monologues; Music Recordings; Musical Scores; Newsletter Articles; Newspaper Articles; Pamphlets; Patents & Trademarks; Photographs; Plays; Poetry; Poster Sessions; Preprints; Primary Sources; Prose; Public Opinion Polls; Questionnaire Responses; Radio Broadcasts; Reports; Statistics; Technical Data; Technical Reports; Television Broadcasts; Theses & Dissertations; Video
The database represents the work of authors from over 1,000 graduate schools and universities in North America and from around the globe. The database includes citations for materials ranging from the first U.S. dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as last semester. Citations for dissertations published from 1980 forward also include 350-word abstracts written by the author. Citations for master's theses from 1988 forward include 150-word abstracts. Dissertations & Theses offers UCSB users access to UC dissertations in full-text digital format starting with titles published from 1997 forward.
Date Coverage: 1861 - present
Materials Indexed: Theses & Dissertations
Provides access to international literature in psychology, the behavioral sciences, and related disciplines from professional journals, book chapters, books, reports, and dissertations. Most citations include abstracts. In addition, there are millions of cited references in journal articles, books, and chapters.
Date Coverage: 1890 - present
Materials Indexed: Book Chapters; Book Reviews; Books; Journal Articles; Technical Reports; Theses & Dissertations
Provided by the U.S. Department of Energy; good for renewable energy sources. Includes many full-text technical reports.
1948 to present.
Note: This database is not limited to UCSB users. This database does not have UCeLinks. You will need to look up journals in the library catalog to determine availability.
CSA Sociological Abstracts Database is a primary resource for accessing the latest research sponsored in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database draws information from an international selection of thousands of journals and other sources.
Web of Science consists of nine databases: Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Science Citation Index Expanded for journal aritcles; Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Science and Conference Proceedings - Social Sciences and Humanities; Book Citation Index - Science and Book Citation Index - Social Sciences and Humanities; and Current Chemical Reactions and Index Chemicus. Web of Science covers thousands of research journals, and extensive collections of conference proceedings and books. across hundreds of disciplines. Both the science and social sciences journal article files offer searchable author abstracts. All three databases are updated weekly.
Date Coverage: Journal Articles: Arts and Humanities: 1975 to present; Sciences: 1945 to present; Social Sciences: 1900 to present.; Conference Proceedings: 1990-present; Books: 2005-present
Materials Indexed: Books; Conference Proceedings; Journal Articles
Alternate Titles: Science Citation Index