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Center for Intensive English Studies

This guide provides resources for the students at the Center for Intensive English Studies (CIES) at FSU.

Public Domain Sources

What is a "Peer-Reviewed Article"?

What is a peer-reviewed article? Why is it important to you?

A peer-reviewed article is written by an expert in a particular field. The article must be reviewed by the author's peers, other experts in that field, to determine whether it is credible and of good quality. If an article is of good quality and passes the peer review process, it may then be published in an academic journal.

It is important to learn how to find peer-reviewed articles because you will need to cite them in your research papers. Unfortunately, many of the academic journals that contain peer-reviewed articles are very expensive, and you must pay a lot of money to access them. If you go on to study at an American college or university after you finish the CIES program, the campus library will receive part of the money (tuition and fees) you pay to attend school. The library will use some of this money for database subscriptions. You will be able to search through the databases your library has paid for to find journal articles.

Unfortunately, you must go to Strozier and use Strozier's computers to access FSU's databases. You cannot access them from off-campus. And you certainly will not be able to access them if you do not attend FSU after you finish the CIES program! This makes it more difficult for you to find peer-reviewed journal articles. However, there are some free journal articles available on the internet. The links in this section will help you find them.

Tip: Whenever you see something that says “full text”, click it! Then, you can read every article that appears in your search results. If you do not click “full text” you may see results that want you to pay money to read an article.

Tip: Whenever you see something that says “peer-reviewed” click it! Some databases have articles that are not peer-reviewed. You want to make sure you are selecting the best, most credible information for your papers.

Open Access Databases

These databases are not subject specific, meaning they cover many different subjects. You can search by your subject and find articles on a variety of topics. Some of these databases have theses and dissertations instead of peer-reviewed articles. Theses and dissertations are generally considered reliable sources, but always make sure to ask your instructor if they are acceptable sources to use in your assignments.

These databases will only give you articles in certain subject areas. Read the description under each database to find out what subjects each database covers.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar logo

Click the image above to search Google Scholar!

Things to Remember When Using Google Scholar:

1. Google Scholar does not allow you to search only full-text or only peer-reviewed articles. Many of the other databases on this page do. So please become familiar with these open access databases and find the ones that work best for you. Do not rely only on Google Scholar to find the full-text of peer-reviewed articles.

2. Look for links that say PDF or HTML to the right of article titles. Clicking those links will give you access to the full-text of articles so you can read the whole thing.

3. Look at “Cited by” underneath the article information. This tells you how many people have cited this article since it was published. If an article has been cited many times, that usually means it is a credible source that other scholars in the field trust.

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