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Social Work with Diverse Populations: Finding Academic Articles

What are academic articles?

In basic terms, academic articles, also called scholarly sources, are written by scholars for scholars and go through a scholarly publication process. This scholarly publication process usually includes some form of peer-review, which means it is vetted by experts in the field and therefore considered more credible than information that hasn't gone through this process.

Some of your background information sources may also be considered scholarly sources (i.e. textbooks and some encyclopedias), but the difference here is that rather than examining a broad topic, academic articles are much more focused on a narrow topic or a single study that provides evidence to back up the background information as well as inform clinical practice.

Below you will find some of the best places to locate these types of articles and some tips for how to search for them.

Databases

Search Tips

1. Don't search as a single phrase - instead, break your topic up into main concepts and place each concept on its own search line, separated by AND

Search Methods Demonstration: Image I

2. Not finding enough sources? Think of synonyms for each of your concepts and combine them with ORS

Search Methods Demonstration: Image II

3. Use truncations to include multiple variations of a word, i.e. persist* (includes persist, persistence, and persistent)

Search Methods Demonstration: Image III

4. Use the Peer Reviewed or Scholarly Articles limiters in your search results

Search Methods Demonstration: Image IV