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CAPS Associate of Arts and General Studies Research Guide

Basic research help for Associate of Arts and CAPS General Studies students.

What's a Scholarly Journal?

Your professor may instruct you to use scholarly journals. What are these and where can you find them?

Scholarly journals -- also called academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed journals -- are the places where new research and insights are published in a given field of study.  

Scholars and researchers submit articles to journals to be reviewed by a group of their peers. Those articles that are deemed the most relevant are chosen for publication.    

Articles in scholarly publication include extensive references and may report the outcomes of original research or experiments.

You can learn more about databases for finding articles on the Searching Tab.


Confused about what sources to use or where to start looking? Use this page as a jumping off point for your research!

Some topics are best suited to book research, while other subject areas rely more heavily on journals. Read below to see what works best for you.


Resource Name Resource Characteristics


Can provide introduction to topic (broad in focus)

Organized with chapters on sub-topics 


aka: Periodicals, Articles, Etc.

Narrow in focus

Shorter than books

Often based on original research or reviews of research

Published periodically (monthly, quarterly, etc.)



Provide quick facts and basic information

Includes works like dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.

Source of background information; starting point for research

News sources

Can be very broad (daily newspapers) or narrow in focus (trade journals or professional news updates)

Cover current events

Often reliable but less "scholarly" than other sources