Refereed? I Thought You Said Peer-Reviewed – Finding Scholarly Articles

MGMT 100 is a course that all Wharton undergraduates have to take, usually during their freshman year. One of the components of the class is finding a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal article. For those of you currently in MGMT 100 or just looking to search the business literature for articles, we’ve recreated the steps for finding scholarly articles.

When you are looking for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles, a good place to start is in Business Source Complete. This is a key resource for scholarly business information, such as Academy of Management Review, Journal of Finance, and Journal of Organizational Behavior. The database also includes business weeklies and trade journals.  Let’s say you were looking for articles on character strengths. You could start with a search for:

(character or personality) AND strength* AND leadership

BSC Search

Search for your terms keeping the drop-down menu in the default setting. The default setting searches within the article’s bibliographic information (e.g. title, abstract, subject headings, etc). Use the asterisk, which is a truncation symbol, to search variations on a term. In this case, a search for strength* will find strength, strengths, strengthening, etc.

When you are viewing the search results, it’s a good idea to sort by Relevance. Sorting by Relevance will put articles at the top which have the search terms appearing most frequently. To view only peer-reviewed articles, select the Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals option from the left-hand menu under the heading “Refine your results”. Note that this filter is not 100% accurate, you will need to verify that the journal is Peer-Reviewed using Ulrich’s.


Let’s take a look at a record:

BSC Record

Pay attention to the Subjects. Subject headings are terms that describe what the article is about. For example, if an article has Leadership as a subject heading, you know that the article focuses on leadership; it doesn’t just mention the word leadership somewhere in the text. Searching by subject headings can help you focus your search. To do this change the drop-down menu to SU Subject Terms.

PDF full text

Most articles in BSC will have either PDF or HTML full-text options. If these options aren’t available, click on the grey PennText button to locate the full-text elsewhere in the library’s subscription databases. Sometimes, full-text will not be available at all, either in print or electronically. If this is the case, you can request the article from another library using Interlibrary Loan.

ToolsThere are several tools in BSC that will help you cite your article. After clicking on the article you would like to cite, use the Tools located at the right. The “Cite” button allows you to copy and paste the citation in the format of your choice. If you use a bibliographic management tool like RefWorks, click “Export” to upload the citation directly to your account. If you want more citation help, take a look at PORT: Penn Online Research Tutorial for citation guides and tips.

Once you’ve found the article you want to use for your status report, you will want to verify that it comes from a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal. You can verify this using Ulrich’s. In Ulrich’s, search by journal title (e.g. Journal of Business & Psychology), not the title of the individual article you are using from the journal. Click on the journal title to view its full record. You are looking for a “Yes” next to Refereed and “Academic / Scholarly” next to Content Type. If the referee jersey icon is throwing you Referee Jerseyoff, it’s there because refereed means the same thing as peer-reviewed. In this case, look for a referee jersey to know that the journal is peer-reviewed.


If you have any questions about searching for articles or verifying peer-review, contact the librarians at Lippincott.

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