Use the Library website to find journal articles
Begin your search at the library homepage. From the "Start your search" search box, you can find books, journals, and other resources in our library catalogue in addition to searching for articles across multiple databases.
In the search box, type in the keywords relevant to your research topic.
For example, if your topic is about the Jews in 14th century Barcelona, you can enter the keywords
jews barcelona medieval
You will get a list of results organized into different information source types, such as Articles, Books, Journals & Databases, and more! To find scholarly articles, underneath the Format section check off Articles or under Show Only check off Peer-reviewed articles.
Narrow down your list to get better articles
Sometimes you will get hundreds of results. Use the filters in the left hand sidebar to narrow down your list of articles. You can filter your search results by Subject, Language, and Publication Date.
You can also narrow down your search results by adding different keywords. If you are looking for a specific phrase or multi-word term, such as the Industrial Revolution put the phrase in quotes: "industrial revolution".
Identifying book reviews
While searching for journal articles, you may come across book reviews. Examine the citation for the article to distinguish between journal articles and book reviews.
Use the Library website to find books
In the library homepage search box, type in the keywords relevant to your research topic. When searching for books, remember to use simple, broad keywords.
From the list of results, go to the Books section, and click on All Books to see the the library catalogue search results.
Narrow down your list of books
You can refine your search with various filters on the left sidebar, such as Library, Subject, Language, Subject Time Period, and Publication Date.
For ebooks, you can also click on the Online checkbox underneath Show Only..
If you want to see the most recent books at the top right, use the drop down menu next to Sort by to change from Relevance to Date-newest. .
How to find a book in Robarts library
When choosing books or articles for your paper, consider the following:
Scholarly journal articles report on original research by experts in a particular academic discipline. Often they go through a peer-review process, which means that they are evaluated by reputable scholars in the field before they are published.
Criteria for evaluating scholarly journals
Who wrote it? What are their credentials?
Does the author acknowledge his or her sources? How?
Is the content substantial?
Does it appear to be valid and well-researched?
Does it make sense, based on your own background knowledge, or what other articles have to say on the topic?
Is the language scholarly?
Is the article well written?
Do illustrations and data support the content in a scholarly fashion, or do they appear to be attention-getting, or sensational?
Who is the article written for?
Is it written for experts and researchers in the field, or for members of the general public?
Is it published in a scholarly journal?
RADAR (Rationale, Authority, Date, Accuracy, and Relevance)
Another helpful way to evaluate the credibility of a information source is through the framework RADAR (Rationale, Authority, Date, Accuracy, and Relevance). See the guide for using RADAR for more detailed guidelines about how to evaluate the quality and usefulness of an information source for your research
Adapted from: Mandalios, J. (2013). RADAR: An approach for helping students evaluate Internet sources. Journal of Information Science, 39(4), 470–478,
Please review the following articles, and decide which category each falls into:
Please note if you access these articles from home, you may need to enter your UTORID and password.
What is this?
What kind of publication is this? How can you tell?
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