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S SCI 160 Introduction to Gender Studies (Marshman): Finding scholarly articles

A Guide to Research in Gender Studies - for students in Michelle Marshman's class

Scholarly Articles

Why Use Scholarly Articles?

  • To find current research and theoretcal perspectives on your topic

  • To find facts, statistics, and other information supported by research

  • To "mine" the bibliography for other resources on your topic


Holman Library has many scholarly databases. For this project I recommend:

Search Strategies

1. When searching the library catalog, databases, or the internet, AND / OR / NOT help you broaden or narrow your search results:


Search Examples

narrows your search,
gets you fewer results

men AND parent*:
finds information specifically on men as parents

broadens your search,
gets you more results

"social media"OR technology:
finds information on either social media and technology

excludes certain terms,
gets you fewer results                              

masculinity AND race NOT reviews:
 articles on masculinity and race, but excludes book reviews


2. Use truncation symbols (usually ? or *) to capture all forms of a word (ethnic* will retrieve ethnic and ethnicity).

3. Keep searches simple using keywords to capture core ideas. Search on body image AND athletes AND youth rather than: Do teen athletes suffer from an unhealthy body image? 

4. Use a variety of search words. (see: Identifying Search Words).  Try different searches to find different results.   

5. Become a power internet searcher!  Use advanced search techniques to get better results from your internet searches

Advanced searching

Using the Advanced Search feature in a database allows you to use more than one keyword or phrase (search terms) in order to get more relevant search results. Here's a screenshot from the database Academic Search Complete that explains what I mean:

Scholary vs. Popular articles


How can you tell the difference between types of periodicals?
magazine image
magazine image
magazine image
magazine image


Popular magazines

Trade, industry and professional journals

Journals of commentary and opinion

Scholarly & research journals


Usually a staff writer or journalist. Sometimes the author's name is not provided.

Writers with subject knowledge or practitioners and professionals.

Great variety: specialists, journalists, organizational members, others.

Primarily experts, often university researchers, whose credentials are usually included.


Written for the "average" person who doesn't have in-depth knowledge of a topic. (popular)

Multiple levels of readers: general public to practitioners and professionals. (mostly popular)

General audience, high school and up. (popular)

Aimed at professionals, researchers, scholars, or others with more in-depth knowledge of the topic. (scholarly)


Entertainment, opinion, current topics, quick facts.

Trends, forecasts, news and events in the field; products, book reviews, employment, biography.

Commentary on social and political issues, specific viewpoints, book reviews.

Research, analysis, scholarship. Often includes abstract, research methods, conclusion, bibliography.


Shorter articles providing broad overviews of topics. (popular)

Short newsy items to longer, in-depth articles.

Varies:  short, pithy, articles to more in-depth discussion.  An issue may be devoted to a particular topic.

Longer articles providing in-depth analysis of topics. (scholarly)


Glossy, color pictures, advertisements.

Ads related to the field or profession.  Charts, tables, illustrations.

Varies considerably.  Some have graphics and advertisements.

Dense text, usually with graphs and charts, fewer specialized, advertisements.


Articles are generally evaluated by staff editors rather than experts in the field.

Articles reviewed by editors from professional associations or commercial/trade organizations.

Publications support a particular viewpoint or specific interest group.  Opinionated.

Articles reviewed by a "jury" of experts--"peer-reviewed" or "refereed"—before publication.


People, Essence, Hispanic, Good Housekeeping, Out, Time, Vogue, Sports Illustrated

RN, Library Journal,  Professional Builder, Contractor Magazine, Restaurant Hospitality

National Review, America, Harper’s, New Republic, Commentary, Progressive, Atlantic

Journal of American History, Nature, Journal of Business, Lancet, Bioscience

Adapted from ACC Library Services Libguides.