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PSY-1205 Nature of Work - Mental Health

Introducing Library Databases

What exactly is a library database, anyway?


Library databases are...
  • searchable digital collections of curated content, often consisting of different formats and source types
  • in many cases, licensed from information vendors who license materials from publishers, aggregate it, and build the technical infrastructure to host and search it. What this often means is that much of the contents of library databases are not freely available online.​
  • structured, meaning that for each article/item included, there are a series of fields (think of a form that must be filled out), including author, title, date, and subject headings. This allows you to filter your results by a number of criteria, including subject or format.

Peer Review

Scholarly papers must meet the threshold of peer review in order to be published in most academic journals.
  1. The author(s) submit their paper to a particular journal relevant to their field of study.
  2. The editor of the journal reads the paper, and forwards it to a panel of experts for review.
  3. The panel of peer reviewers, consisting of scholars in the same field (or a closely related field), read the article and provide their objective feedback.
  4. The author(s) are given an opportunity to revise their work if necessary and resubmit.
  5. If the panel decides that the paper has met certain standards, it is approved for publication.
  6. The actual process will vary from journal to journal. In some cases, it may be a blind peer review, meaning that the reviewers do not know the authors' names.

Though time-consuming, the process of peer review is essential for verifying and certifying the quality and veracity of scholarly research.

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

This tutorial provides a clear and concise overview of the topic.

Types of Scholarly Articles


Empirical / Original Research Studies

  • Original research studies, also referred to as empirical research articles, report the findings of new research that has not been published before. They are written by the scientists who conducted the study, for an audience of other scientists. Original research studies are published in peer-reviewed academic journals. These articles must include a Methods or Methodology section describing the exact procedures used to carry out the research, so that it may be replicated and verified by other scientists.

Review Articles

  • Review articles are peer-reviewed, and are written by scientists for scientists. However, rather than reporting new research findings, they analyze and synthesize results from many other studies. Thus, review articles are a great source for understanding what's known and what's not known about a given topic, as well as what types of experiments have been conducted in attempting to further that knowledge.

**Non-Scholarly Articles** that may appear in Scholarly Journals

  • There are various types of professional communications that may appear in a scholarly journal, but are not peer-reviewed articles. Examples include book reviews, announcements, and editorials.