Research Resources What types of resources do I need for my research project?

scholarly & refereed

"Scholarly" and "refereed" are terms that describe the same thing -- research articles that are peer reviewed and published in scholarly journals. A research article reports a scholar's research practice and findings. It is written with an audience of researchers (and students, like you!) in mind and it must pass through the rigorous process of peer review.

In the UTA Central Library, the current and bound print periodicals are on the third floor.

peer review

Peer review (also known as refereed) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field before the paper describing this work is published in a journal. Peer review helps the publisher decide whether the work is accepted, needs revisions, or is rejected. Peer review requires a community of qualified experts to perform reasonably impartial review; the review is typically blind or anonymous to alleviate as much bias as possible. Peer review is necessary to maintain academic quality.

popular & trade

Popular and trade magazines cover current events, general interests and industry specific topics. The audience for these periodicals are the general public or professionals in specific fields such as teachers, chefs, or healthcare workers. These resources tend to be larger in size and contain lots of glossy photos and advertisements.


Newspapers are written for the general public and typically articles are submitted by staff reporters or freelance journalists. Sources are sometimes cited, but not always. Newspapers are a good place to find current events and special features. They are usually published on a daily or weekly basis.

reference works

A reference work is a book or periodical (or its electronic equivalent) to refer to for quick, factual and background information. The writing style used is informative; the authors avoid use of the first person and facts are emphasized. Many reference works are compiled by a team of contributors whose work is coordinated by one or more editors. Reference works include dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, almanacs, bibliographies, and catalogs.

When do you use each type of research resource?

It depends. Be sure to read your assignment and know what your instructor expects. Sometimes you are required to use only peer reviewed or scholarly journal articles. In this case, you can find a relevant database to search and limit the search to "peer review" or "refereed." To find databases on your topic, visit the research guides.

If you are researching a current event or writing a persuasive argument, you may want to take a look at popular periodicals and/or newspapers. These resources will cover controversial events and issues that are happening now. You may also want to take a look at association websites for current event information. But be careful, always be sure to evaluate the resources and information you are using as part of your research.

To decide on a topic, refine and focus your ideas, and find background information, you may want to take a look at reference materials. These resources may include encyclopedias, wikipedia, dictionaries, and your textbook. You won't use any of these resources as references in your final research project, but you will find valuable information and leads to useful references.

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Created By
Diane Shepelwich


Created with images by freddie marriage - "Laptop on desk book stacks" • johnlaudun - "Scholarly Journal and iPad" • Melinda Pack - "Coffee and glasses in flatlay" • Annie Spratt - "Colorful book stack" • stevepb - "newspaper news media print media" • crdotx - "Dictionary" • Tessakay - "dictionary languages learning" • cocoparisienne - "books book bookshelf" • Double--M - "From the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary" • Rishabh Mishra (possible248) - "Encyclopedias" • kulinetto - "background blank business"

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