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Library Research for Students

This guide is for Seneca students completing a research assignment.

What are Scholarly and Peer Reviewed Articles?

Scholarly sources are books, articles, websites, or individual papers that are published by academics, or research or governmental organizations. They are sometimes (but not always) peer reviewed.

Peer reviewed articles are an example of scholarly sources. Peer reviewed articles are published in scholarly, peer reviewed journals and usually follow a consistent format (with sections such as Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, etc.).The articles have gone through a "peer review process" which can look something like this:

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Breakdown of Scholarly, Peer Reviewed Research Articles

black and white research paper

Image: Research Paper by Srinivas Agra from the Noun Project

Research articles tend to follow a similar structure and usually contain the following sections:

  • Title and Authors
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References

Sections of a Scholarly Research Article

►Title and Authors

  • You can use author names to find out what educational institution they're associated with and what else they've published

Abstract

  • Identifies the focus of the article
  • Read this to determine if this article is relevant to your topic

Introduction

  • Provides context for the article
  • Introduces reader to potential problems that the research study seeks to remedy or shed light on
  • May also contain literature review you can use to find other relevant articles

Methods

  • Discusses study design and research methods

Results

  • May include graphs, charts, figures, and tables

Discussion

  • Where authors write about what their results mean
  • Acts as a makeshift summary of methods and results section
  • May also list limitations of study such as a small or narrowly focused sample size, or unforeseen issues with the data collection methods

Conclusion

  • Wraps up the article
  • Allows the authors to recommend future studies that would be useful to build on their current field study

References

  • Section at the end of the paper that lists the other publications the authors cited
  • Contains list of publications the authors drew on to create their own article
  • You can also use this section to seek out some of the publications listed to find other relevant research articles