25 Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

Your professor has always stressed the importance of using peer-reviewed or scholarly sources. But finding good Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases is often hard and frustrating. It’s not uncommon for students to end up with sources their instructor rejects. Sure, you can use newspaper articles, magazines, and other such sources. But it’s best to find and use peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles. This post will discuss among other things what peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles are and why you should use them. You’ll learn where you can find government documents, reports, whitepapers, books, and peer-reviewed journal articles for your research writing. Aside from that, you’ll get a list of 25 peer-reviewed journal databases. But you’ll get way more than just that. So, stay with us.

Here’s what you will get for reading through this Post on Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases
25 databases that contain thousands or millions of peer-reviewed and scholarly sources to support your research writing
Important pieces of information written in bold to help you find what you want real quick
Detailed sections that offer valuable information to help you transition from an ordinary academic writer to a refined one
Sections that guide you on how to easily identify scholarly and peer-reviewed journals and journal articles
Tips to help you avoid worthless sources and those of doubtful origins
Certainty that you’re using reliable sources all of the time

First Things First: What’s Peer-review?
According to Editage Insights, the term peer-review refers to an evaluation of an academic or a scientific work performed by “experts from a particular field.”

Are Peer-reviewed Journal Articles and Scholarly Journal Articles the Same Thing?
Sometimes they are; sometimes they are not. But that’s not the kind of answer you want. Don’t worry; we’ll explain in a moment. Scholarly journals are not always peer-reviewed, but they’re still good sources. That said, there many places you can get scholarly journals that have gone through rigorous peer-review. So, what’s the difference between a scholarly journal article and a peer-reviewed one? The following two sections on Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases explain that.

What’s a Peer-reviewed Journal?
Peer-reviewed journals are also known as refereed journals. Before a refereed journal gets published, it goes through a rigorous and critical review process. Who reviews peer-reviewed journals? It is other scholars working in the same specialty or field as the author of the work. They reason they have the name peer-reviewed journals is that the author’s peers perform the review. Peer-reviewed journal articles are quality sources that deliver loads of value and credibility. They reflect solid scholarship. For that reason, using peer-reviewed sources is highly advisable.

What’s a Scholarly Article?
We mentioned above that peer-reviewed journal articles are scholarly sources. Scholarly journals, on the other hand, are not necessarily peer-reviewed sources. Some journals go through peer-review but others don’t. What makes scholarly articles quality sources is that they communicate findings of original experimentation and research. These journals carry detailed citations, specifically footnotes or endnotes or bibliographies. Experts write these articles, and their primary audience is other experts in a particular discipline. While scholarly articles don’t always pass through peer-review, an editorial board approves them before they get published. In the end, both journal articles and scholarly articles get checked by experts. They’re both credible sources you can confidently rely on as you build up arguments for your work.

Why is Peer Review Important?
Peer review is often a painful process. Thanks to the process, only material of the highest quality ever gets published. But why does the process matter? If you understand how the process works, you’ll easily understand why it is important.

When an author submits an article to a journal, it lands on the editor’s desk. The editor then gives the work to a few carefully selected peers. Peers are highly competent experts who have gained respect and recognition in the author’s field. The experts go over the work and in the end provide detailed criticism of it. They submit their criticism together with a decision that aligns with the work’s quality.

Reviewers’ Feedback
The reviewers may make any of three decisions. They may reject the work, accept it with substantial revisions, or accept it without any revisions. Rarely does an author get their article accepted without revisions. Sometimes, the reviewers may suggest that the author include other important studies they may not have considered. Peer-reviewers may also point out errors in the work and suggest how the author might address the issues. The journal editor also reviews the article and may add a few comments.

Peer review not only checks the quality of research but also seeks to improve the work and turn improved the peer-reviewed and scholarly Journal Articles Databases. Now, you can see why your professor tells you to use only peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles.

But Peer-review has a Few Limitations
Authors are different in terms of training, experience, and quality. Similarly, peer-reviewed journals are different in many ways. Small, little-known journals sometimes find it hard to find the best people in the field to review their submissions. Such journals may end up working with reviewers no one has ever heard of. Critics love it when they can easily discredit the sources you have used. It matters where the material you’re using got published and who reviewed it. That’s why you should choose recognized and respected journals.

But even respected journals work with humans, and humans can make mistakes. A time-starved world-class reviewer might decide that a work looks great and accept it without revisions. Such a cursory review may easily miss subtle errors. Additionally, reviewers may not always carefully securitize every reference or consider every fact or statistic.

In addition to that, peer-reviewers can sometimes fall victim to bias. They may have a certain level of prejudice against studies that don’t agree with their research. Such reviewers would be highly unlikely to accept work that directly contradicts their published work. If an author feels a certain reviewer may have prejudice issues, they can do something about it. They can, for example, request the journal not to have that particular person reviewing their work. But such a request might also encourage the editor to include that biased reviewer. The editor might think the author seeks to avoid legitimate criticism.

Also, conflict of interest may undermine the credibility of a journal. For example, a journal dedicated to alternative medicine is highly likely to approve work that seems pro-alternative medicine. And a journal interested in promoting certain products or ideas might easily accept certain kinds of articles while rejecting others. Such journals may even find specific reviewers who view alternative medicine positively. Such reviewers might end up rejecting articles that would add great value to the scientific community, hence limiting the peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases.

Despite these limitations, peer-review works. Peer-review is many times better than no quality control. However, the process doesn’t offer ironclad guarantees that submissions will always be error-free.

Here’s How You Can Easily Recognize Peer-reviewed Journals
Here’s something IMPORTANT for you to remember. Not every journal out there is peer-reviewed. An article published on a journal that’s not peer-reviewed is simply not a peer-reviewed source. But it doesn’t mean that all of the content on a peer-reviewed journal counts as peer-reviewed material. For example, letters to the editor, editorials, and book reviews aren’t articles and they’ve not gone through peer-review. You need to find a way to identify peer-reviewed journals and to stay away from everything else as much as possible. Here’s the good news. Some peer-reviewed and scholarly Journal Articles Databases let you limit your search to peer-reviewed sources. Here’s how you can easily recognize peer-reviewed journals:

Instruct Your Database to Return Only Peer-reviewed Search Results
One effective way to make sure you end up with peer-reviewed journal articles is to enter the right search command. Some databases will let you focus your search on peer-reviewed sources. One such example is ERIC (more on ERIC later). You’ll also find many more on our list of 25 databases that contains peer-reviewed journals. In some databases, you’ll need to perform an “advanced” or “expert” search to find peer-reviewed journals. Unfortunately, there are tons of databases out there that won’t let you limit your search to specific kinds of sources.

Use Ulrichsweb.com
For you to access Ulrichsweb, your school needs to be a subscriber. Once you gain access, you’ll be able to find out if the journal you have is a peer-reviewed one. Aside from that, you’ll also access thousands of FREE sources there. You need to type in each source’s exact title. Type in the title exactly as it is — don’t write a when it should be an. The database contains roughly 300,000 journals. But there’s no guarantee the source you seek will get displayed. If the journal you want information on gets displayed, check if it is peer-reviewed. How will you known whether a journal is a peer-reviewed resource? If it is a peer-reviewed journal, you’ll see a certain symbol placed next to the title of that journal. Here’s the symbol:.

If Ulrichsweb.com doesn’t contain details on the particular journal you want information on, don’t worry. This isn’t the only method you can use to know if your source is a refereed one. The approach described below should help you easily recognize a peer-reviewed journal.

Examine Individual Journals and Journal Articles to Determine if they are Peer-reviewed Sources
This method involves looking at each journal or journal article to establish whether it’s peer-reviewed. But there’s a little issue with the approach. The problem is that sometimes, it’s difficult to know if a journal published online is a refereed one. Here’s how to use this method:

Step 1: Find the journal of interest online or in the library. You want the most recent issues in the year.

Step 2: Find the publication’s masthead. Typically, the masthead occurs on the front or back of publications. The masthead carries useful information you can use to learn if a source or journal has gone through peer-review. For each journal, you should easily find important information including the journal’s editorial staff and the publisher’s name. You may also know who publishes the journal’s articles, where, and when. Look at the screenshot below:

Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

Nothing much; it’s just information on the journal’s editorial staff.

Look at this one:

Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

The journal says that it publishes original research and reviews. It doesn’t say it’s a peer-reviewed journal. It is a scholarly journal. It’s probably a quality source.

Here’s another journal.

Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

Look at the top left part of the journal, the part that displays the article’s publishing date. “Published online 2004 Dec 15” — can you see that? Below that line, you’ll the text “PEER REVIEWED” in uppercase. Clearly, this is a peer-reviewed journal, and it’s likely a credible source. Sometimes, though, you may not find the word PEER REVIEWED around the masthead of the journal you’re interested in. In that case, don’t worry. Here’s what to do:

Check the Journal and Learn how Authors Submit Articles There
Some journals display information on how authors should submit articles. You’ll usually locate such details somewhere around the masthead. You’ll likely see a phrase such as “Submit Articles: Send Three Copies.” Now, every journal that invites academics to submit papers isn’t necessarily a peer-reviewed one. That said, such a journal is likely to be a peer-reviewed one. Why would a journal ask for three copies if it didn’t intend to review them? But this is hardly a foolproof method to determine whether the journal you’re looking at has gone through peer-review.

Here’s a Real Good Method to Recognize Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
If all other methods fail, use the method we’re about to describe. With this method, you should be able to easily tell if a journal is a peer-reviewed resource.

First, ask yourself: “is this article written in technical terminology that regular readers may not easily understand?” If yes, it’s likely a peer-reviewed journal article.

Next, check whether the following is the case. Does article follow the format typically favored by scientific papers? Does it have these sections: Abstract, Introduction, Review of Literature, Methodology, Findings or Results, and Conclusion? If the answer is yes, you’re most likely looking at a peer-reviewed article. But that’s not enough. Check whether the authors of the article are scholarly researchers with the competence to write such kind of work.

Here’s one more sign to keep your eyes peeled for: does the journal article feature endnotes, footnotes, or in-text citations? Does the article include a detailed and correctly written (according to a specific editorial style) bibliography or references page? One more thing: Does the journal that published the article seem to be full of annoying adverts? A peer-reviewed journal often carries no or very little advertisement. Don’t you think a source that has tons of ads promoting certain products would most likely be a biased one? Clearly, conflict of interest would make it hard for such a source to stay free of bias. A peer-reviewed article follows the right format. And a peer-reviewed journal usually requires multiple copies of work for review and carries minimal advertisement.

Here’s One More Method: Check out the Journal’s Official Website
Simply locate the journal’s official website on the web. Head to the “about us page” and see what the journal says it is. If it states it’s a peer-reviewed one, it’s most likely a peer-reviewed journal. But how do you make sure you have the journal’s official website? Visit its publisher’s website. There, you’ll find the link back to the journal’s official website. But this is not a 100-percent reliable method. It’s possible you could still end up with unreliable information. Don’t you think it’s possible for a website to say it’s a peer-reviewed resource when it is not? If all the methods described above don’t work and you feel unsure about any source, consult your instructor.

Types of Peer-review
There are different types of peer-review. Here’s a list of seven different types of peer-review you need to familiarize yourself with:

Open Peer Review
Collaborative Peer Review
Single-blind Peer Review
Double Blind Peer Review
Post-publication Peer-review
Cascading or Transferable Peer-review
Third Party Peer Review
Let’s now briefly examine each of them.

What’s an Open Peer-review?
As the name suggests, there’s a lot of “openness” in this kind of peer-review. The authors and reviewers taking part in this process know each other. An open review returns the work submitted alongside the comments from the reviewers. The reviewed document also includes the author’s responses. One disadvantage of this review is that researchers may not be honest while reviewing the work of their seniors. Aside from that, some reviewers may not want to get identified as the person who gave a negative review.

But an open peer review of Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases isn’t without some advantages. One reason it’s a great process is that it encourages transparency. Transparency leads to accountability and civility. It also makes sure the article becomes the best work it could possibly be. Besides, reviewers are highly likely to pay adequate attention to their work. That’s because they know the journal may publish their comments, and no one wants to get associated with mediocrity.

What’s a Collaborative Peer-review?
At the beginning of this review process, the journal in question doesn’t reveal the identities of the authors and reviewers. But the identities may get revealed when it comes time to publish the work. The journal in question provides a platform on which the authors and reviewers can interact and discuss how to improve the work. Usually, two or more reviewers work together, submitting a combined report. In some cases, a reviewer or two may work with the writer to improve the work. The goal is to refine it until it becomes publishable.

The good thing here is that writers often feel that reviewers are there to support them rather than point out their shortcomings. That positivity might lead to work of better quality than would be possible with any of the other approaches. The downside of a collaborative review is that it’s possible to lose independent evaluation. Plus, collaboration between writers and authors may blur the difference between writing and reviewing.

Single Blind Peer-review: How it Works, Merits, and Demerits
In this kind of peer review, the author doesn’t know who will be reviewing their work. However, the reviewers know the author’s identity throughout the review process. The advantage of this review is that it lets reviewers provide honest criticism. Unfortunately, this process might leave a bit of room for discrimination to flourish. It’s possible for a reviewer to discriminate against people on the basis of gender or nationality.

Double Blind Peer-review: How Does it Work?
Here, the editor makes sure the authors never get to know who’ll be reviewing their work. Additionally, the reviewers never get to know the identities of the authors. Neither side gets to know the names or affiliations of the other side. Humanities and social sciences tend to favor this type of peer-review. One main advantage is that the process shuts out bias. Besides, both the author and reviewer operate in an environment where everyone feels fully protected against criticism. However, it’s still possible for a reviewer to “decode” the identity of authors. A reviewer may examine the author’s writing style or even their area of specialization and know their identity.

Third-party Peer-review
In a third-party review, independent reviewers examine the work of an author before the author approaches any journal. The reviewer is typically a professional editor, someone who specializes in editing scholarly work and research. The author gets comments and suggestions from their editor and incorporates them into their work. This approach doesn’t guarantee that your work will get accepted, but it may increase the chances of approval.

Editors cost money, though. It might be money flushed down the toilet if you get the wrong editor. The good thing with this process is that one gets to work with editors. How does that help? Editors know what an editor would want to see in a piece of work. If a professional editor thinks your work is great, a journal editor will likely accept it. However, there are no cast-iron guarantees.

Post-publication Review
In this type of peer-review, revision continues even after the article has become approved and published. This review often happens as an addition to another form of review. It’s rare for an article to go through only a post-publication review. The good thing about this review is that it appreciates that knowledge is dynamic, that it keeps evolving. Apart from that, a post-publication review eliminates any errors the pre-publication review might have missed. But here’s one little problem: correction happens through published discussion rather than in the original work.

Transferable or Cascading Peer-review
This review usually happens when a journal cannot for one reason or another accept an article at the moment. Maybe the journal doesn’t deem the article interesting for its intended audience. Or the journal may not regard the article as a priority at the moment. In such cases, some journals may encourage the author to approach a different journal that may accept the work. Most of the time, the referring journal controls the new journal. Usually, the editor will send the work along with the reviewers’ comments.

But the editor for the other journal may end up deciding the work is not suitable for their audience. And that can really frustrate the author. However, getting transferred to a different journal by a journal tends to hasten the publication process. Let’s explain. Starting the process afresh with a new journal can take longer than when the current journal sends its reviews.

Where to Find Peer-reviewed Journal Articles
Now, we know what scholarly and peer-reviewed journals are and how to recognize them. Now, it’s time to learn where to find such sources. There are lots of places where you can obtain credible sources. From EBSCOhost to CINAHL to NCBI and Medline, there are many, many places that contain peer-reviewed journals articles. We’ll provide you with a list of 25 databases that offer peer-reviewed journal or scholarly articles. That’ll help you hasten your search while making it easier. In some of the databases on our list, you’ll find paywalls that stand between you and the source you want. But we’ll also include many databases that offer FREELY accessible peer-reviewed articles. Some of the databases contain a mix of Open Access and subscription-based resources.

It’s highly likely that your school has a library database that contains sources from hundreds of journals. In that case, you can quickly access these sources while on-campus and off-campus. But it’s possible to be in a school that doesn’t have access to research databases. And NOW, here’s the list we promised. The list presents 25 databases that contain peer-reviewed journals. To help you start accessing and using high-quality sources, we’ve provided a brief description for each database. We encourage you to follow each link and see if you can access the content there. We keep getting great sources free of charge from some of these databases. And you will too.

25 Great Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

  1. EBSCOhost
    EBSCO Industries Inc. runs several divisions and EBSCOhost is one of them. For over 70 years, EBSCOhost has worked with libraries across the globe, supporting research through providing quality content. EBSCO provides library resources to users in public library, law, medical, corporate, and government markets. EBSCOhost offers an online research service that has 375 full-text databases. It’s like a database of databases, and there, you’ll find over 90,000 audiobooks and over 1, 000,000 e-books from hundreds of publishers.

Content vendors supply some of the databases found on EBSCO. These vendors provide some of the best known databases including Econlit and MEDLINE. EBSCO, on the other hand, compiles the rest of the databases. These databases include Academic Search, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Clinic Reference Systems, Education Abstracts and many others.

EBSCO industries Inc. also operates EDS which stands for EBSCO Discovery Service. This service allows institutions to easily search for magazines and journals. Are you a medical student or in nursing school? If yes, EBSCO is a great resource for you. With EBSCO, you should be able to find tons of high-quality journal articles from the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. It’s not surprising that lots of schools across the U.S. are EBSCO subscribers.

    CINAHL is pretty much a nursing and medicine database. It provides high-quality and up-to-date literature to help nursing and allied health professionals conduct quality research. The database is available via EBSCOhost (already discussed above). The database has a useful tool called CINAHL Complete. The tool helps researchers and students to access evidence-based care sheets and valuable full-text journals from 1937 onward. In this database, you can search and find cited references for over 1,500 journals. Whether you’re in general health, medicine, nutrition, or nursing, you’ll find CINAHL hugely useful.
  2. PubMed/HubMed
    HubMed helps you easily and quickly access material in a database known as PubMed. The great thing about HubMed is that it enables users to search PubMed live. Using the field codes that support searches on HubMed returns the same results you would get on PubMed. Make sure to sort results by “date” instead of by “relevance.” “By date” is the default search criterion, and it tends to return more useful results than a “by relevance” search. You should be able to see these sorting options on a dropdown menu found below the search box.

Pretty much anyone connected to the Internet can access HubMed. HubMed is a great database for anyone not affiliated with a library. On this database, you can access for free many quality full-text peer-reviewed journal articles. PubMed/HubMed is a great database when you need biomedical sources.

  1. Ovid MEDLINE
    Ovid Medline has supported research since 1946. On this database, there are nearly 6,000 journals focusing on biomedicine and life sciences. About 80 percent of the articles on the database are in English. The sources exist in as many as 60 languages. What’s more, Medline offers over 23 million recent author abstracts and bibliographic citations. It gets better: Ovid, the platform on which Medline operates, provides 4,500 + e-publications each week before they appear in print. But that’s not all. The database provides over 1,000 full-text Open Access journals. Whether you seek reliable information on AIDS, cancer, bioethics, toxicology or complementary medicine, Medline’s got you covered. Medline gets updated daily.
  2. BIOSIS Previews Via Ovid
    BIOSIS Previews’ publisher is U.K.-based Clarivate Analytics (UK) Limited. In this database, you should be able to find material dating back to 1926. The database focuses on disciplines in the life sciences. You’ll find quality sources to help you write excellent papers in zoology, ecology, botany, biomedicine, biochemistry, and biotechnology.

BIOSIS gets updated weekly. You won’t believe the next statement. This database has up to 500,000 new records (sources) added each year. The resource carries over 5,000 journals and non-journal literature. Many of the journals are peer-reviewed. BIOSIS provides access to over 18,000,000 records that have been piling up since 1926. When you want to know what trends are emerging in your discipline, this database is a great place to start your search. Like MEDLINE, BIOSIS Previews runs on Ovid.

  1. The Cochrane Library
    The Cochrane Library offers a collection of databases that carry different kinds of quality sources for research in healthcare-related fields. Cochrane.org owns the database while Wiley is the publisher. Some of the databases found on Cochrane Library include CCAs, CENTRAL, and CDSR. CCAs stand for Cochrane Clinical Answers while CENTRAL is an acronym for Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. CDSR means Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. CDSR gets updated throughout the month. The systematic reviews found on CDSR are peer-reviewed sources.

Published monthly, Central contains loads of reports on randomized controlled trials and quasi-randomized controlled trials. CDSR provides bibliographic information such as source, author, year, and title. While you may access a journal article’s abstract, you may not get the source’s full text. For Cochrane Clinical Answers, the audience is practicing healthcare professionals. There, you’ll find lots of clinical questions, brief answers, and data from a relevant Cochrane review.

The great thing about the Cochrane Library is that it’s pretty easy to search for sources by publication year and issue number. CCAs seems to be a great option for nursing and medicine students as well as practicing nurses.

AMED: The Allied and Complementary Medicine Database
AMED is a great resource if you’re researching a topic in complimentary or alternative medicine. The publisher is the British Library. Whether you’re researching palliative care, podiatry, hypnosis, rehabilitation, or acupuncture, go to AMED. All records offer basic bibliographic information. Sources published after 1995 will usually have the author’s abstracts. To access full-text articles, you’ll have to pay for them. The database carries over 600 journals. For the most part, the sources here are scholarly rather than peer-reviewed. To access AMED, you should be able to access EBSCOhost or OVID, the platforms that support the database.

  1. Google Scholar
    For most researchers and students, Google Scholar is where their search for quality sources start. Established in 2004, Google Scholar contains tons of peer-reviewed articles, books, dissertations, theses, abstracts, technical reports, patents, and case laws. It happens to be the largest academic search engine in the world.

This may sound incredible but Google contained close to 390 million sources as of January 2018. Fully 90 percent of the articles published on Google are in English. You can access some of the articles on Google Scholar FREE of charge. Free articles usually have the phrase “Free Access” somewhere above the title of the article in question. It should be easy to download a PDF version of a free source or a paid one. At the same time, Google Scholar works like other subscription-based tools out there.

The problem with this amazing resource is that Google Scholar doesn’t always vet the journals it accepts. For that reason, we advise you to go for sources cited by the majority of people seeking such information.


MEDLINE or MEDLARS ONLINE is a bibliographic database operated by the NLM (National Library of Medicines). The database supports researchers and students in different fields in the vast healthcare field. If you’re pursuing medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or preclinical sciences, Medline’s got your back. The database contains nearly 4,000 biomedical journals published in different locations across the world. Fully 76 percent of the over 9 million records on the database have author abstracts written in English. Since June 26, 1997, students and researchers have easily accessed content published on MEDLINE free of charge.

  1. JSTOR: Journal Storage
    JSTOR works with members of the academic community across the world to advance teaching and research. Established in 1994, JSTOR provides over 10, million academic journal articles and 50,000 books. On top of that, there are about 2,000,000 primary source documents spanning 75 disciplines. That makes JSTOR an insanely useful online research tool. The database works with ITHAKA, a nonprofit that strives to use digital technologies to preserve knowledge and support teaching and learning.

Every source published before 1923 in the U.S. and before 1870 in other places is available to everyone everywhere for free. The rest of the sources are available at affordable rates, and some of them allow free access. The materials JSTOR provides support research and teaching in the social sciences, humanities, and science. Now, we’re not marketing for JSTROR. Nor do we earn any commissions by recommending JSTOR or any other database. But we must say pretty much anyone can afford their services. With an annual access plan of as little as $20, you can access the database’s sources.

  1. Informit A+ Education
    Informit A+ Education is a small database that contains research to support academic writing and teaching in the education field. The database offers just over 220,000 records from about 165 resources. The good thing is that all the sources focus on the education field. Some of the sub-fields covered include early childhood education, adult education, primary education, education theory and practice, and secondary education. The sources provided aren’t older than 1978, though. If you’re an education student attending a university in Australia, this resource should be a natural choice. Informit A+ Education is purely a subscription-based database.
  2. ERIC: Education Resources Information Center
    ERIC stands for Education Resources Information Center. ERIC offers two broad categories of journals. The first category is what ERIC calls comprehensively indexed journals. Roughly 80 percent of Comprehensively Indexed journals contain education-related research. ERIC provides bibliographic details for each of these articles. The second bunch of journals is called Selectively Indexed journals. About 50–79 of the journals contained here focus on education. ERIC selects manually all the journal articles that meet the criterion described in the database’s selection policy. The search box allows you to limit your enquiry to full-text articles and peer-reviewed sources. If you’re looking for government documents, technical reports, or whitepapers, ERIC is a great place to go. The database also provides no-journal material.
  3. ProQuest education journals
    ProQuest is a database created to support researchers and academic writers in the area of education. It contains many top education journals. More than 1,000 of the journals are full-text education-focused titles. Additionally, the database offers around 18,000 dissertations and over, 450,000 ebooks. The database says it offers six billion digital pages, some of them as old as 600 years. Therefore, it’s the kind of database where you would find Plato’s the Republic or Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Most of the material, though, is research covering the theory and practice of education. Some of the topic areas ProQuest helps include homeschooling, primary, secondary, adult, and higher education.
  4. PsycINFO
    PsycINFO is a database that meets the research needs of academics, students, and scientists in the field of psychology. The database provides peer-reviewed research available in digital format. It is produced by the American Psychological Association. Over the last 50 years, PsycINFO has evolved to become a trusted resource for researchers in behavioral and social sciences. As of this writing, PsycINFO has 4,587, 214 records. OVID Technologies, ProQuest, and EBSCO are trusted providers who avail licensing for PsycINFO. Both individuals and institutions can access this content-rich database through paid subscription.
  5. Medscape
    Medscape is a great source for news stories and scholarly perspectives on drugs and diseases. It’s the kind of website every physician or nurse should read every morning before work. It’s a great resource for when you’re writing evidence-based nursing papers. We’ve just checked this site, and there’s a great piece on immunotherapies dated December 23, 2018. All the authors on Medscape are subject experts — physicians and PhDs. Not only do the articles make for interesting reading, they’re also credible sources for research writing. Even better, access is free. Simply sign up and get instant access to quality articles authored by subject experts.
  6. Elsevier
    Elsevier is a scholarly publisher and a data analytics provider. It’s among the largest scholarly publishers globally. The database provides nearly 49,000 books, close to 3,000 journals, and numerous iconic reference works. As of this writing, Elsevier is offering huge discounts (50 %) for anyone who buys a book from them. The database lets you access journals and books by subject. But you’ll have to contend with paywalls before you can access most of the sources on Elsevier.

Elsevier is a high-quality publisher. Why else did European Commission’s Open Science Monitor subcontract Elsevier to improve accessibility of scientific publications in Europe? The EC wants scientific research to be available to everyone in Europe freely by 2020. One hopes the European Commission succeeds.

But critics have voiced concerns over what they see as Elsevier’s determination to derail Open Science. According to one U.K.-based publication, the Guardian, Elsevier is a biased source of research. How? Elsevier has certain products and services that it keeps promoting including Scopus, Mendeley, and Plum Analytics. As a result, critics think it’s hard for Elsevier to remain neutral while publishing material. But the following are the key issues of concern. The issues include Elsevier’s ever-rising prices for research material and its seemingly anti-Open Science practices. There’s one more thing: that Elsevier is too big! Do these seem like reasons not to get sources from Elsevier? You decide.

  1. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
    DOAJ is a website that provides a comprehensive list of open access journals. Open access journals are journals that let you access research freely. The sources found on DOAJ are high-quality peer-reviewed and scholarly journals. DOAJ uses a funding model that makes it possible for institutions and individuals gain free access to top-quality research. Every journal that wants to join DOAJ must give users full rights to freely use their publications. You can download, copy, read, print, distribute, or link to full-text articles on DOAJ. As of this writing, DOAJ had 12, 440 journals and 3,645, 571 articles published in 129 countries.

It’s easy to think that this database accepts every other journal that seeks acceptance. But DOAJ has in the past removed a couple thousand journals from its database because it felt there were reliability issues. That means the database cares about quality and wants to work with quality journals. As a student or academic writer, DOAJ is a resource you shouldn’t ignore.

  1. Social Science Research Network
    Social Science Research Network provides papers and articles written by social science academics and researchers. While the majority of the sources on this database are accessible for free, some articles sit behind paywalls. To access the material here, you must become of their members. Luckily, registration is fast and free. As of January 9, 2019, SSRN had 839,364 research papers in 30 disciplines. The sources came from 418,693 academics and researchers. Whether you’re researching in the social sciences, health sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, or humanities, you’ll find SSRN useful.
  2. ETHOS
    The British Library manages Ethos. Ethos should be an attractive database for doctoral students as it contains thousands of PhD theses. While researching for this post, we visited ETHOS, and the database had 500,000 doctoral theses at the time. Some of the theses are downloadable instantly. You can actually limit your search to items that are available for immediate download. You can also request ETHOS to provide you with scanned copies of the theses easily and quickly. There’s another thing that makes ETHOS great. The database lets you limit your search to recency, author, or title. We tried searching for stem cell research on the database, and we limited our search to “Newest.” See the results we got:

Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

We clicked on the first link, and learned that we could instantly download the full-text version of the article. We also accessed the abstract immediately. See what we found:

Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

  1. dblp Computer Science Bibliography
    If you’re pursuing computer science or a related degree, make dblp your friend. The database provides books, theses, and journal articles to support research in computer science. Fully 52 percent of the sources available on dblp are conference and workshop papers while 39 percent are journal articles. The rest are informal publications, theses, books, theses, and reference works. In total, there are over 4,000,000 computer science publications from more than 2,000,000 authors. Additionally, the database contains 1,606 journals and 5,564 conference-related materials. While some of the articles are available freely, others are behind paywalls. But you can opt to limit your search to full-text articles.
  2. BioMed Central
    The materials found on BioMed are research discoveries from peer-reviewed journals. The materials come from research communities in medicine, engineering, science, and technology. Are you writing a paper in clinical medicine, health, or biology? BioMed Central has got you covered. You may also find sources for mathematics assignments. BioMed Central contains over 300 peer-reviewed journals. Evidently, this database is an excellent resource for STEM students. There are no paywalls on BioMed Central, and only you can stop you. Here’s an article we’ve just accessed from the database.

Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

  1. OpenDOAR
    The beauty of OpenDOAR is that all the content there is available freely. It gets even better. All of the journals listed there don’t even require users to sign up. OpenDOAR never lists a journal or website that requires users to sign up, even if their content is free. Nor does the database list any site that offers author abstracts or bibliographic references only. That means OpenDOAR painlessly connects you to tons of high-quality, freely accessible journal articles. One more thing: OpenDOAR doesn’t accept e-journals. That means that every journal you see there is also available in print. Overall, OpenDOAR is an awesome resource that can help you produce well-researched papers that deliver real value. Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases.
  2. Public Library of Science Journals (PLOS Journals
    PLOS is a not-for-profit publisher and advocacy organization that supports research in various ways. PLOS covers a diversity of research areas ranging from medicine, genetics and pathogens to tropical diseases, biology and computational biology. What makes PLOS unique and different is that some of the best scientists in the world have published their work there. According to PLOS’ website, 64 Nobel Laureates have their published research in this database. Here, anyone anywhere can quickly access over 215, 000 peer-reviewed articles free of charge.
  3. Paperity
    According to Paperity, users can easily access the most recent discoveries without having to deal with paywalls. Paper gathers together Open Access papers and journals from multiple disciplines, making it a valuable resource for students and researchers. While some of the sources are in German and other languages, the vast majority of them are in English. The database carries 6,608 journals as of this writing and 2, 054, 192 papers.
  4. CORE: Find Sources for Pretty Much all Disciplines
    Core contains millions of sources spanning pretty much every possible discipline. On this database, you’ll get access to over 66,000 million articles without paying a dime. Now, that’s awesome. Fully, 92 percent of the articles (roughly 60,000,000 articles) found in this database link to full-text sources published on the original publisher’s website. CORE directly hosts the rest (8 percent or about 5,000,000 articles) of the journal articles. CORE allows you to quickly search for articles by publication year, type, journal where published, author, and language. Obviously, CORE is a site to visit regularly if you want quality research available free of charge.

Where to Find Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, Books, Theses, Dissertations, Government Documents and More: Final Thoughts
You’ve learned quite a lot. You can now easily recognize scholarly and peer-reviewed academic articles as well Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases. That means you can now easily choose the best-quality sources that online libraries, physical libraries, and databases carry. Going forward, you no longer have any excuse for not adorning your transcripts with As and A-pluses. There’s no discipline so obscure that you can’t find high-quality sources for it. While some of the databases have paywalls, we’ve shown you lots of places that provide peer-reviewed sources absolutely free of charge. Want more information on how to make your research writing a smoother, happier experience? Feel free to contact us. We collaborate with a few researchers and academic writers. You never know when our expertise and knowledge would mean the difference between an A and an F.

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