Scholarly articles are written by experts in a particular field for other experts or students in that field. Their purpose is to inform and/or report on original research and keep that field up-to-date on recent findings and news. Think of scholarly work as an ongoing conversation!
Peer review is the process of having one or more persons who have the same competences as the work's creators evaluate the work. It serves as a mechanism for competent professionals within the field to self-regulate, catch and fix mistakes before publication.
The authority of a source depends on the purpose of creation and of use. If you are writing an academic paper, looking for scholarly sources and peer-reviewed articles can help you make sure that your information is reliable.
To access a journal article in most of the library's databases, you will either find a PDF file or a link that says Lycoming Availability. If you see this link, click on it to see if it's available locally or if you will need to request the article through Interlibrary Loan, a free service that allows us to request materials from libraries around the world.
You can also use the Full Text Finder and browse by discipline or use the search bar. See the tutorial below!