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ENGL 26100: World Literature


Search tips for finding articles

Beginning your search: 

  • Use terms found in your background reading on the subject
  • Use the Thesaurus or Subject Terms listings, if available, in the databases you are searching
  • When you find a record for an item that is useful to you, look at its subject headings or descriptors for more ideas
  • Find appropriate Library of Congress Subject Headings if you are searching library catalogs and some databases

If you get too many results:

  • Consider narrowing down the search terms in an Abstract or even in the Title field
  • Try searching by Subject, rather than by Keyword (or by a combination of Subjects and Keywords or other fields)
  • Try phrase searching (usually by using " " around the phrase)
  • Use other limiters, if appropriate, such as a specific type of publication (Peer Reviewed, for example) or a specific time period

If your search does not yield enough results:

  • Check your search to see if you entered it and spelled it as you intended
  • Try other search terms and use OR between the terms to find items with any one of the terms
  • Look at the bibliographies of items that are closely related to your topic
  • Search in a different database or ask a reference librarian

Peer Review Text

What is peer review?

This is a process a where recognized experts on a topic read and review the article before it is published in a journal. Most of the time the review process is anonymous and both the author and reviewer are not identified. The reason for this is to eliminate any personal bias in the review process. During the review process, the article will be evaluated on the accuracy of the information in the article, and reliability of the research methods used, and the overall quality of the research presented in the article.

The Peer review process answers the following questions:

  • Is the research valid and credible?
  • Are research design and methodology appropriate?
  • Is this research significant and the findings important?
  • Is the research original and new?
  • Does the paper properly cite the previous work done by others?
  • Should this work be published, improved or rejected.  

 Who is an expert?

  •  Experts are recognized authorities on a topic. You can identify someone’s authority by their education, credentials, and affiliation.
  • Look for academic degrees such as PhD. For scholarly articles the educational background and degrees of the author should be easy to find.
  • Look at where the author is employed. If it is a university this is a good sign. Generally experts will be employed (affiliated) with some organization such as a university, corporation or government.
  • The author and their degrees are visible.
  • The author's affiliation and contact information will be visible

What does a Primary Research Article look like?

  • All primary research articles will share many of the same characteristics
  • There will usually be a paragraph labeled abstract at the beginning of the article. This abstract will be a brief summary of the article, and is intended to help the reader determine if the article is on the topic of interest. You can also see that the authors and their affiliations are clearly shown.