The best way to get seriously researched articles

For a school project, I need to find peer-reviewed, serious journal articles.

Does aayone know any good search engines, databases, etc?

I figured the SDMB would be the best place to ask… and if you provide me with good links, I’ll put 'em to use in GD! I swear!

In the old days we had these things called libraries. Get thee to one. Most public libraries will have at least a few refereed academic journals in their collection (JAMA and Lancet, if nothing else) but if your local public library is very small. Try the closest community college.

If you absolutely insist on using only online resources, think of your favorite big university and go to their web site. Work your way to that universities librarie’s web page and they will likely have links to those journals in their collection available online.

You don’t say what subject you are looking for, but most databases require a fee or license, which usually only libraries can afford. Searching them is really an art and you should find a reference librarian to help you. Most campus libraries are open to the public on a limited basis.

The above posts are correct - look in the library first. Libraries have tons of free info just begging to be examined.

That said, you can supplement your research by visiting The Carl Corporation runs a nonprofit database (in the UnCover section) that includes articles published in peer-reviewed journals. This available research only goes so far, however. If your subject was Civil War, for example, you could go to UnCover and key in “Civil War” as your keyword and get some ideas as to which journals cover what you want. Then you can go to the libraries themselves and request those issues. You can read abstracts (or in some cases, just the titles) of the articles for free on UnCover, but to read the entire article you have to pay to download.

Also, if you go to, you can get lists of tons and tons of journals from which to choose. Once you know which journals fit your needs, you can either get them from your library or maybe even research a little online (some professors, I suppose, don’t like online citations). Some peer-reviewed journals DO have their archived journals available online for free; you just need to make sure you get the entire citation: “J Am. Med. Soc. 6(13), pp56-90.”

Good luck!

Cher3 and Obfusciatrist are correct. I’m an MA Hons student and research is basically my entire career at the moment. You won’t be able to access academic journals online unless you have membership through a university which subscribes to these journals. The most you’ll be able to get online by yourself are abstracts, and that won’t cut it for a good paper. Therefore you’ll need to actually visit an academic library. Most universities don’t mind non-students using the library. You won’t be able to check out any books (esp. journals, which fortunately often can not be checked out, anyway), but you can use them in the library or photocopy them. I have experience of two different academic libraries (one USA, one UK), and both have completely different kinds of search engines for looking up periodical articles. So ask a librarian to help you out in finding what you need. It’s not a big deal. (And assuming you’re not in college yet, this will be good practice – you will be doing this all the time if/when you go.)

Like the other’s here, I’m not exactly sure what you are looking for, but here’s a couple sources I’m fond of. If these aren’t what you’re looking for let me know and I’ll see if I can give ya something more appropriate. is a non-profit organization that publishes a small (16 page) weekly journal of synopses of recent articles in the more prestigious and juried science publications. Their searchable database goes back to 1992. is, well, here’s their mission statement.

Ya gotta love these guys; they have a link to the Straight Dope at their site.