What is Peer Review?
Your instructor may want you to use "peer reviewed" articles as sources for your paper. Or you may be asked to find "academic," "scholarly," or "refereed" articles. What do these terms mean?
Let's start with the terms academic and scholarly, which are synonyms. An academic or scholarly journal is one intended for a specialized or expert audience. Journals like this exist in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Examples include Nature, Journal of Sociology, and Journal of American Studies. Scholarly/academic journals exist to help scholars communicate their latest research and ideas to each other; they are written "by experts for experts."
Most scholarly/academic journals are peer reviewed; another synonym for peer reviewed is refereed. Before an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal, it's evaluated for quality and significance by several specialists in the same field, who are "peers" of the author. The article may go through several revisions before it finally reaches publication.
Magazines like Time or Scientific American, newspapers, (most) books, government documents, and websites are not peer-reviewed, though they may be thoroughly edited and fact-checked. Articles in scholarly journals (in printed format or online) usually ARE peer-reviewed.
How can you tell if an article is both scholarly and peer-reviewed?Read more
Where's the PDF?
Many article databases contain information about articles (citations or abstracts), not the entire text of the article. Once you've used an article database to find articles on your topic, you may need to use this button: in order to locate and read the full text of the article. The UC-eLinks button appears in nearly all the databases available from the UCB Library website.
UC-eLinks will link you to the online full text of an article if UCB has paid for online access; otherwise, UC-eLinks will help you locate a print copy on the shelf in the library. If UCB doesn't own the article in print or online format, UC-eLinks can also help you order a copy from another library.
For more information, watch this video tutorial (about 4 min.)
You can also set up UC-eLinks to work with Google Scholar. For more information, watch this 40-second demo.
Literary Criticism Resources
MLA International Bibliography
Scholarly articles on literary topics. Use UC-eLinks button to get to the articles themselves.
Literature Resource Center (LRC)
Includes biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of more than 120,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists, and other writers. Scope is international. Full text.
Several hundred scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Topics include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others.
Easy to use, full text, multi-disciplinary scholarly article database. Note: the most recent 3-5 years of the journals are usually not available through JSTOR.
Academic Search Complete
A multi-disciplinary database that includes both scholarly and popular articles. Most articles have pdfs.
Includes more than 350,000 works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, 131 full-text literature journals, and other key criticism and reference resources. Includes reference works on literary criticism and biographical information.
History Article Databases
These databases index mostly peer-reviewed journals in the field of history. To see the full text of articles, use the UC-eLinks button.
America: History and Life
U.S. focus. Indexes over 2,000 journals published worldwide on the history of the US and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes all key English-language historical journals; selected historical journals from major countries, state, and local history journals; and a targeted selection of hundreds of journals in the social sciences and humanities.
Non-U.S. focus.Indexes over 2,000 journals, as well as historical book reviews and dissertations, published worldwide about all aspects of world history (excluding US and Canada) from 1450 to the present.
Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available.
Can't find an article database in this guide that's relevant for your topic? Use the Library's Article Databases by Subject page to find and search recommended databases for your subject area. Or try the general Find Articles page to see a complete listing of all article databases, including news databases and book and film review databases.