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NUR 130: Health Promotion and Risk Reduction

This libguide has been created to assist the students in NUR 130 Health Promotion and Risk Reduction with searching, locating and evaluating research articles.

What does the term Periodical mean?

Newspapers, magazines and journals are called periodicals because they are issued/published on a regular or "periodic" basis (usually more frequently than once a year.)

Periodicals are usually separated into four major groups:

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Trade/professional
  • Scholarly/peer review.

If you are able to recognize the differences between a magazines, newspapers, trade/professional, and scholarly/peer reviewl source, you can focus your research to retrieve only the type of articles you need.

Scholarly / Peer Reviewed Articles

scholarly journals

Characteristics of a scholarly or peer reviewed articles:

  • Authors are experts in the subject field. They are authorities in that field of study. Authors are highly educated.
  • Articles go through a peer-review process. This is the process where the article is read by recognized researchers in the field and recommend the article for publication in the journal.
  • Articles are usually reports on scholarly research or case studies.
  • Published monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually.
  • Journals are geared toward scholars, researchers, or professionals.
  • Jargon, articles that use research terms difficult to understand, is a reason why journal articles are hard to read.

Types of research articles include:

  • Randomized Control Trials
  • Empirical Study
  • Quasi-experimental study
  • Quantitative study
  • Qualitative study

Some examples of scholarly or peer reviewed journals:     

  • Journal of Pediatric Nursing
  • American Journal of Nursing
  • JAMA: Journal of American Medical Association

How to Read a Research Article

Identifying Scholarly Articles - What to look for

Once you identify a great article, look for the following

  • An abstract at the beginning of the article -- summary of the researchers/authors argument, approach and conclusion
  • Author(s) -- scholarly articles usually have two or more authors -- author credentials and affiliations are listed on first page or last page of article
  • Specialized Headings/Sections in the article -- include:
    • Introduction -- One to several paragraphs describing the subject content of the article
    • Methodology --  This section will provide information about what data was collected and who participated in the study
    • Results -- This section will provide information about the results of the study
    • Discussion - The purpose of the discussion is to interpret and describe the significance of research study and provide any new insights from the research
    • Conclusion -- this section will provide the findings of the research and any recommendations and limitations of the study
    • References or bibliography -- an extensive list of references used in the research of the article is provided at the end of the article.

Note: The structure and format of peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts (articles) are changing. You might find peer-reviewed articles without a separate literature review and conclusion sections. These sections will be part of the introduction and discussion sections. 

Definition of Scholarly or Peer Reviewed Articles

Scholarly and professional journals feature articles written by researchers and practitioners in a particular subject area. The authors often have particular specialties. Peer groups of researchers, scholars and professionals within a specific discipline are the audience for scholarly literature.

Peer review is a well-accepted indicator of quality scholarship. It is the process by which an author's peers read a paper submitted for publication. A number of recognized researchers in the field will evaluate a manuscript and recommend its publication, revision, or rejection. Articles accepted for publication through a peer review process implicitly meet the discipline's expected standards of expertise.

Articles in some scholarly and professional journals are not peer-reviewed, but are selected by an editor or board. Standards of scholarship in such journals are often equal or comparable to those of peer-reviewed publications, although this is not always the case.

Source: University Libraries, University of Nevada, Reno.