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Finding Academic Articles in OC Library databases: Home

"My professor says: use only academic/peer-reviewed articles as sources. What does that mean and how do I do it?" Here's a general guide.

Finding Academic Articles in OC Library databases

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Finding Academic/Peer-Reviewed Articles in OC Library Databases

For all students who need these articles, and only these articles, per their professors' requirements...

First off:  what is an "academic article"?  Here's an excellent definition by librarians at Mid-Michigan College in Harrison, MI:

Academic articles are written by professionals in a given field. They are [usually] edited by the authors' peers and often take years to publish. Their language is formal and will contain words and terms typical to the field. The authors name will be present, as will their credentials. There will be a list of references that indicate where the author obtained the information s/he is using in the article.

Academic articles can be found in periodicals similar to the Journal of Psychology, Childhood Education or The American Journal of Public Health.

So then, what is a "peer-reviewed article"?  As hinted above, its content, methodology and conclusions have been vetted by colleagues in the authors' discipline.  An academic could write an article presenting research that's only published on their campus without vetting (though seldom done).  Instead, they'll seek validation from outside peers.

As a practical matter, all the content in the Library's databases labeled "academic" can also be considered "peer-reviewed".  Here's how to limit your searches in the One Search system.

First, go the Library home page and enter your search terms:


After clicking the One Search button, "sign in" where prompted:


Click on "VCCCD Portal" and enter credentials if needed. 


Next screen...Under "Availability" in the left column, select "peer-reviewed journals":


In most cases, professors will expect you to use articles that are five years old or less. Change "creation date" to 2015-2020 and click "refine":


Now, click on "remember all filters" so that your limiters are saved, even if you change your search terms later:


Let's look at article #7 by clicking on "available online":


Click on EBSCOHost Academic Search Complete...


...and you have the article ready to be cited, downloaded and/or emailed with tools on the right:


Now, you may close the tab and navigate back to the results screen.  The "outputs" will work a bit differently with each service, but this tutorial should get you started.  Please contact me with questions and/or to report "bad links" in One Search (always a work in progress).

Yours in research/Tom Stough, Librarian


Thomas Stough's picture
Thomas Stough
4000 S. Rose Ave.
Oxnard, CA 93033
(805) 678-5818