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Jewish Studies

What is scholarly literature?

Your instructor may ask you to find scholarly or peer-reviewed sources. But what does that mean and how do you find them? Scholarly sources are generally written and created by researchers who are experts in their field. Every discipline has different standard forms and expectations about how scholarly work is published, but generally you will find this information in books and journals. Scholarly books are usually published by academic and university presses and articles are published in academic journals. 

Most of it is not freely available so to get access, you will want to start at the library website. The library buys and subscribes to thousands of scholarly resources in every discipline. Books may be online or in print; most journals articles are published online and can be found in library databases. 

There are no hard and fast rules for identifying scholarly articles, but generally you can tell if something is scholarly by looking for a few key characteristics. Who is the author? Are they affiliated with a university or college? Does the author cite their sources (is there a bibliography or works cited list)? Do they explain their research methods and how they came to their conclusions? The more scholarly work you read, the easier it will get to recognize when something is research-based and when it is opinion or journalistic reporting. 

The following places will give you a good place to start your search. 


OneSearch is the library's main search engine. It's the only place to find and access the books and media in the library, and also gives you access to online resources in the library's many databases. Plus you can find and request things from any other CSU Library. It's a great starting place no matter what your research topic is. 

Search OneSearch

Use this form to search OneSearch. You can choose whether to search keywords, or look for a specific title, author, or subject term. You can also narrow down to the type of item you're looking for.

This video will give you some pointers on searching and accessing stuff through OneSearch. 

Finding Articles

You may want to go directly to a library database to narrow your search. Library databases are collections of citations that may or may not include full text. Some of them are subject specific and some are more general. The databases listed here might be useful places to search.