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Maritime

Finding Articles in the Library & on the Web

What are they?

  • Trade journals, magazines, and newspapers are excellent sources for the latest business news and trends.
  • Trade journals focus on one industry and provide in-depth information on trends, new products and other topics of interest to people working in that industry.
  • Articles, particularly in online publications, are often reprints of articles from other sources. They usually say so and if that is the case, find the original source and use that instead. (This is a common practice in GCaptain for example.)
  • They are full of advertisements, which in and of itself is fine, but beware of advertisements that are disguised as articles! This is common and you need to pay attention. Do NOT use information from these ads unless you are including the information in a product review of your own. 
  • An EXCELLENT resource when job hunting!

What they're not:

  • Trade journals are not peer-reviewed, and therefore do not publish scholarly articles. If this is an assignment requirement, don't use them.
  • They are not written by professional journalists or academics, so articles may be more casual, sometimes shorter and in need of fact-checking.
  • They are not free of bias. Industry partners contribute money to the publication of these journals through advertisements and direct sponsorship. Be savvy when considering how they may also influence the perspectives published in the journal. 

What Are Peer-Reviewed & Scholarly Articles?

Q: What does "peer-reviewed" mean?
A: If an article has been peer-reviewed before being published, it means that the article has been reviewed by other scholars in the same field of study ("peers").
The reviewers have commented on the article, not only noting typos and possible errors, but also giving a judgment about whether the article has been researched and written well (the authors are building on other reliable research, the methods for the study are good and authors are drawing appropriate conclusions..)
 
Q: If a piece of information wasn't peer-reviewed, does that mean that I can't trust it?
A: No. Many newspapers and magazines do fact-checking. Government web sites like census.gov and cdc.gov are trustworthy and have excellent data and statistics. Consult and use a variety of sources to verify the information. When in doubt, ask your instructor or a librarian.
 
Q: How do I find a peer-reviewed article?
A: Start in the library's databases recommended on this guide or use the "Find It" search and check the "peer-reviewed" checkbox.  Then look the article over for signs like: the authors have PhD or MD degrees; the article has an abstract and is trying to answer a research question or hypothesis; and the article has many references at the end.  If in doubt, ask a librarian or your instructor.
 
Q: If I get an article from a peer-reviewed journal, that means it's peer-reviewed, right?
A: No, there are other types of articles in peer-reviewed journals:
  • Literature reviews
  • Columns or editorials (opinions)
  • News
  • Announcements of new research projects