The series of online videos below are sequenced to lead you to a good understanding of scholarly sources, how to find them, and how to use them correctly in your papers. It should take you about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to work your way through the online videos and exercises below, depending on how long you choose to spend on the excercises.
You can enlarge these videos on your screen by double-clicking the video. After viewing the video, use the escape button on your keyboard to return to this page.
If you have questions as you go through this series of tutorials, you can easily ask a librarian to clarify by using the Ask-a-Librarian box at the right to chat with a librarian online (this is open all the time, the librarian might be at EMU or from another university).
The videos and tutorials on this page were created by librarians at Eastern Michigan University, librarians at other universities, and an association -The American Psychological Association. Thanks to all of them!
This 3 minute video by Eli Moody at Vanderbilt University does a great job of explaining how to recognize a scholarly journal.
An additional tip:
Not every article in a scholarly journal is a peer-reviewed article. Some journals also include book reviews and shorter commentaries that are not peer-reviewed. How to tell the difference? Non-peer-reviewed articles tend to be shorter, won't have methodology sections, literature reviews, and other elements discussed in the How to Read a Scholarly Journal video (next video).
Now that you can recognize a scholarly journal, here are some tips on how to read an article in a scholarly journal.
Tips on reading? That may seem odd at first, but I think you may find this librarian's suggestions and explanations of how scholarly articles are often structured quite useful.
This 5 minute online video is by Tim Lockman, a reference librarian at the Kishwaukee College Library.
Now you have a assignment!
Use the 3 minute online video Finding Known Articles (above) to learn how to find an article through the EMU Library web site when you have a citation. Then practice your skills by looking for this article:
Cross, R., Baker, W., & Parker, A. (2003). What creates energy in organizations? MIT Sloan Management Review, 44(4), 51-56.
Tip: The key to success may lie in examining the "fine print" to find the source which has the year that you need.
Note: This article isn't structured exactly like the article in the How to Read a Scholarly Journal video above. It is written by an expert, refers to research by the authors, and has a short list of references--but is written in a more conversational tone to be accessible to readers beyond academia. This type of article falls in a more gray area of scholarly articles--it may or may not be peer reviewed, but is probably still a good source to cite in papers. Other journals with papers like this are the Harvard Business Review, the California Management Review, and the Supply Chain Management Review.
What if you want to find articles on a particular subject?
To search for articles by topic, use library databases. For College of Business classes, the most useful database is often Business Scholarly & Trade (formerly ABI/INFORM), a business article database, produced by ProQuest.
Business Scholarly & Trade is useful because:
Example special search features in Business Scholarly & Trade:
The company ProQuest uses a common inferface for all its databases. The 3 minute tutorial below on Using ProQuest PowerSearch provides you with the basics of searching Business Scholarly & Trade.*
*Technically you are getting more than just ABI/INFORM when you use the Business part of EMU's ProQuest subscription.
. . . sometimes it just takes a few more clicks.
Not every article is available in full text inside Business Scholarly & Trade (or other library databases). Sometimes there is only an abstract for the article.
The Findtext+ software helps you link to a source where you may find the full article. Sometimes it just takes one click and you "magically" get the article--and sometimes it is a bit more complicated (or EMU just doesn't have that journal.) If you have trouble getting to an article, don't hesitate to use Ask a Librarian--this can get tricky and staff or librarians often help students with this.
The 3 minute video Using Findtext+, below, demonstrates how this works in a database. You can use this feature in Business Scholarly & Trade, Google Scholar, and other databases.
Take some time to practice finding articles on a topic.
Now that you've increased your knowledge of using library databases and locating full text of articles, try searching for some articles on your topic in Business Scholarly & Trade
Often your first search won't perform perfectly--don't let that deter you, just try different search terms. Sometimes if you find an article that is close to your topic, you can examine that abstract for keywords or official subject terms that will help you find more articles.
Research works best if you don't do it all in one sitting. Stop, read some articles, take notes, think about what else you want to know--then try some more searches.
The ProQuest platform can be a bit "buggy"--if it stalls, try using your back button and re-executing the search. Since you can be timed-out of your session after a certain period of inactivity, you may want to save articles as you go.
You can mark articles using a check box, then go to the # Selected Items link at the top of the screen to download or email multiple articles at once. If it isn't full text in Business Scholarly & Trade, you will only get the abstract & citation this way. (If you use Findtext+ to find an article, you will have to download from the source you are sent to.)
You can also download/send APA citations with the articles. Be careful! Sometimes the APA citations from ProQuest aren't perfect and you have to fix them. Common problems to watch for include:
Also, the ProQuest citations may add a URL that leads to the source in EMU's ProQuest subscription. Your professor might want you to use this for a class paper (it can make sense then), but it wouldn't be correct if you were writing for a journal.
Whether or not your searches in Business Scholarly & Trade are successful, you may also want to use another database. Google Scholar may be a good choice.
If you discovered that your topic is so popular that there were hundreds of articles and you didn't know which to read, Google Scholar may help. Google Scholar uses a ranking algorithm to push articles that have been cited more often up to the top of the list. For a popular topic, this can help you find the most well-known or seminal articles on the topic.
Business topics can sometimes be difficult to translate into a simple keyword search. If your topic was particularly difficult to put into a keyword search, but you did find one or more relevant articles:
Search for that article in Google Scholar and use the associated link (Cited by #) for articles that have cited that article. These sources will be more recent and may also be useful for your research (although some citing sources may "go off in a different direction" from your topic). An easy way to search for an article in Google Scholar is to search for the title in quotes (so it searches the exact phrase) with the main author's last name, like this:
"What creates energy in organizations" Cross
How is Google Scholar different from Business Scholarly & Trade?
Which should you use? That may depend on your topic, whether you need trade/news articles, or your personal search preference. Often it's smart to do searches in both (and possibly yet another database, such as PsycINFO for topics related to psychology).
The 2.5 minute video Using Google Scholar below gives some advanced tips on using Google Scholar.
Here is the NUMBER ONE TIP for Google Scholar:
Use a link from the EMU library to access Google Scholar. Many of the articles in Google Scholar are not free on the web--if you use a link from the library, you will be able to get more articles for free in library subscriptions and will also get Findtext+ links.
Did you find some relevant sources in Business - Scholarly & Trade and Google Scholar?
Before you do more research, take some time to learn about using sources correctly with the last two tutorials on this page.
The EMU Library's interactive online tutorial Understanding Plagiarism won national recognition. It will take about 20-30 minutes to complete the entire tutorial.
You might already know some of this--but even graduate students don't fully understand all aspects of this topic--and some very smart people have gotten into trouble by not understanding this! By the end of the tutorial, you should feel more confident that you know how to use sources correctly (and you may find the tutorial entertaining as well).
The link below leads to a 21 minute tutorial at the American Psychological Association web site. It explains:
It's pretty dry material--but if you want to write for academic publications, you will need to pay attention to these details.
If you want to view only the part on citing and references, start with slide # 13.
The Citing Sources page of this research guide provides some example APA citations and links to web cites with more examples.