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Earth and Environmental Science: Getting Started

Library Research

Research 101 - Getting Started in Library Research

Try the steps outlined in this guide for a simple and effective search strategy to find information for your research paper, project or presentation.

What is Peer Reviewed

Peer Reviewed? Refereed?

Peer Review.  The process of obtaining impartial opinions from the research and academic community in order to ascertain whether papers submitted for publication in journals ... are of a sustainable standard. 

Referee.  An independent expert who assists the editor of a journal in evaluating the acceptability of contributions submitted for publication.

Peer Review- Video

Journal Impact factor

  • The Journal Impact Factor reflects the yearly average number of citations that the articles published in a given journal received.
  • It is used to measure the importance or rank of a journal by calculating the times it's articles are cited.
  • But it shouldn't be used to evaluate research.
  • Check Journal Impact Factor at Scimago.

Check this website for more information.

Journals Vs. Magazines

Criteria for Evaluation

  Scholarly Journals

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Popular Magazines

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Bibliographies or references included


Usually DO NOT have bibliographies


Authors are experts, often professors at universities or research centers



Authors are often journalists or generalists


Contain articles approved by author's peers (peer reviewed) or refereed



Contain articles chosen by editors who are employed by the magazine or people within a certain trade field


Audience is the scholarly reader, such as professors, researchers, students



Audience is the general population


Standardized formats are usually followed (APA, MLA, etc.)



Various formats which are often unstructured


Written in the jargon of the field



Written for anyone to understand


Any illustrations support the text (maps, tables, photos)



Often illustrated for market appeal


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Subject Guide

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Vicki Gruzynski
Office: LRC-212