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BRR 100: Great Experiments in Bioresource Sciences

What are Scholarly Articles?

Scholarly articles are written to convey the results of original study, research or experimentation.  They are written by experts in a discipline for other experts in the discipline.

Reading scholarly articles can be a bit daunting.  But once you understand the parts of the article, this process becomes easier.  Scholarly articles (including scientific research articles) use language that can be hard to understand.  Remember these articles are written by experts for other experts, so the language is standard for what is used in the discipline being written about.  Scientific articles usually include the following parts:  introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. Read more about each of these sections at this site: Anatomy of a Scholarly Article.

How to Read a Journal Article

Or watch the following video from the University of Minnesota on how to skim an article for the main points and take effective notes:


Evaluate Your Source

  • Does the source have a bibliography? This can lead you to other sources.
  • Is there an author listed as part of the citation? Judging authority can be difficult without an author.
  • Is the journal refereed (peer reviewed)?
  • How old is the source? Will this matter for your topic? Currency of information can be important. Some aspects of a topic may need currency more than others.
  • What other terminology is being used either by the author or by the database? Keep an eye out for other words you can use in your search statements.
  • Do the OSU Libraries own the journal (either in print or electronically)? If we don't own it, it will take more time to get your hands on the source.