Academic and Trade Journals. Find the most up-to-date information and research in a given field or industry. These journal articles can include literature reviews, research summaries and analysis, and theoretical discussions.
Peer-Reviewed Articles. Academic journals often use the peer-review process to vet articles for publication. Field experts evaluate scholarly articles for accuracy, research methods, and interpretations of data.
To find a peer-reviewed article while searching databases, limit the results only to peer-reviewed publications by choosing search options like "Scholarly" or "Peer Reviewed".
Another method for locating peer-reviewed articles is to use Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, an authoritative source for information about periodicals. First, search for the journal title. Then, look for the referee jersey icon to see whether or not the journal is peer reviewed.
When looking in databases for articles, it's a good idea to come up with a list of keywords first and continue to write new ones down throughout your research. Here is an example of keywords I came up with for "effective practices for distance learning in higher education":
The option to choose databases is very helpful when you want to search in more than one subject database at a time.
Once you have selected "Choose Databases," you can check any database that you would also like to search. (This can be especially helpful when you are covering intersectional topics, but is also helpful to make sure you are covering your topic completely.) Here is what the list of databases will look like:
This is a great tool when you want to make sure you are using the right search terms. You can find it on the top of your toolbar in a database, like ERIC.
Once you click on "Thesaurus," you can use the search box in the middle of the page to find subject headings used in a particular database. Here is an example of searching "online learning." This particular database suggests "electronic learning."