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Student-Athlete Research Guide

What is Research?

Research can be daunting, but knowing where to go and how to search can save you time and energy. Start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What kind of information do I need? Facts, opinions, statistics, case studies, literary criticism, assessment instruments, legal cases/decisions, and reviews are just a few to consider. 
  • What types of sources do I need? Newspapers, magazines, journals, scholarly or peer-reviewed articles, government documents, electronic or print resources, microform, primary documents, e-books, traditional books, the Internet?
  • How current do my sources need to be? Primary documents that may be quite old or the most current research on educating children with autism?
  • Where do I go for the best information on my topic? OneSearch, the Clemson Library catalog or other libraries (ILL), research databases, the Reference collection, government publications, or websites, etc.?

Academic vs. Scholarly Sources

What's the difference between academic, scholarly, peer-reviewed, and refereed journal articles?  While those terms aren't fully interchangeable, they are all very similar.  Academic or scholarly journals are published in every academic discipline.  Articles in these journals are written by researchers, often experts, in their respective fields of study.

Peer-reviewed or refereed journals also contain articles by researchers and experts but before articles are published, they go through a read/review process.  Here's how it works.  I send my article to the American Journal of Journals to see if they'll publish it.  They contact several people in my field and ask them to review my work and make recommendations to the editors as to whether they should accept or reject my article.  Academic or scholarly journals may also be peer-reviewed or refereed journals but they might not so check carefully.

How do you know if an article is scholarly? Check out this page.

Research Tools

Research Databases