Essentially, peer review is an academic term for quality control. Each article published in a peer-reviewed journal was closely examined by a panel of reviewers who are experts on the article's topic (that is, the author’s professional peers…hence the term peer review). The reviewers look for proper use of research methods, significance of the paper’s contribution to the existing literature, and integration of previous authors’ work on the topic in any discussion (including citations). Papers published in these journals are expert-approved…and the most authoritative sources of information for college-level research papers.
Articles from popular publications, on the other hand (like magazines, newspapers or many sites on the Internet), are published with minimal editing (for spelling and grammar, perhaps; but, typically not for factual accuracy or intellectual integrity). While interesting to read, these articles aren’t sufficient to support research at an academic level.
Jennings Library offers access to several key journals in sociology. Click on the links below to browse these journals and monitor current research in your field.
Library databases have access to articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. Every database has different content. This makes it important to use a database that has content on the subject you are researching. In addition, be sure to search in more than one database to find information.
Check out these recommended databases to get started:
To find books or articles not available in the Jennings Library, use inter-library loan (ILL) or VALE Reciprocal Borrowing.
If the Library doesn't have a book or article you need, we can most likely get it through interlibrary loan.
For more information see the library's guide to Jennings ILL.
Another option is to use VALE Reciprocal Borrowing. To borrow directly from other academic libraries, you must first visit our Information Desk (hours) to obtain a form to take with you to the participating library.