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UMass Amherst Libraries

Library Research for Junior Writing

This is a page designed to help students with their Junior Writing course.

What is a scholarly source?


Professor Obama


A scholarly resource is one which has gone through a process of "peer-review"--it has been read and commented upon by people in the field in which it is written. Generally all books and articles written within the university environment go through this process.

This doesn't ensure perfect accuracy, or eliminate mistakes, or correct bias, but it does cut down on the likelihood that false information is being disseminated.

This is a crucial difference between the databases we provide and Wikipedia or Google--you never know what you're getting on the Internet.


Scholarly article databases

If you're working across various disciplines in your Junior Writing course, it's best to consult the Research Databases Page, and follow links to the page which best reflects your research needs: history, literature, philosophy, political science, anthropology, etc.

Here are some excellent general scholarly resources:

Academic Search Premier
A good starting point: articles from key journals in many scholarly disciplines, with some trade journals and magazines, 1975-present.

Core scholarly journals from a range of disciplines, dating from the earliest issue of each journal to a few years before present.

Project Muse
Scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences published by university presses; searchable by journal issue, author, and keyword, 1996-present.

Not everyone will be writing on their language's literature, but for anything to do with literature, the premier database is the

MLA International Bibliography

For Spanish & Portuguese, see

Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI)

Handbook of Latin American Studies

See also the Library subject research guides for

Spanish & Portuguese

French & Italian

Latin American Studies