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The Americas: Peer-reviewed & Scholarly Articles

Lesson Plan

Information Literacy Session: The Americas, with Dr. Torezani 

Lesson Title: Database Diving for Peer-reviewed, Scholarly Articles

Name: _________________________________ Section: _______________Date:____________

Lesson Objectives/What am I learning?

The information literate student :

  • Identifies the types of sources that are indexed in a particular database or index (e.g., an index that covers newspapers or popular periodicals versus a more specialized index to find scholarly literature).
  • Retrieves a document in electronic form.
  • Assesses the relevance of information found by examining elements of the citation such as title, abstract, subject headings, source, and date of publication.

Learning Outcomes/Why did I learn this?

Given the opportunity to explore various databases, I will be able to choose the appropriate database(s) to find a peer-reviewed article.

Website Evaluation Selected Resources: See class library guide/In-class assignment tab..


Part I- Introduction to Scholarly Sources

Teaching Strategy/Instructional Procedure: Video  and question prompts

Learning Strategy/ Procedure: Think/Pair/Share

What would you say is the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly articles?

What are other names for peer-reviewed articles?

What are the benefits of the peer-reviewed process?

What can be some of the downsides of the peer-reviewed process?

How can you find peer-reviewed articles?


Part II- Scholarly vs Popular Sources

A. Instructions: Which of these article citations comes from a peer-reviewed journal and which comes from a popular source?

a) Study suggests that when a goat looks into your eyes, it's got an agenda — just like A dog! : Goats and soda : NPR. Retrieved from

b) Nawroth, C., Brett, J. M., & McElligott, A. G. (2016). Goats display audience-dependent human-directed gazing behaviour in a problem-solving task. Biology Letters, 12(7), 20160283-20160283. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2016.0283 Retrieved from: 

Document Diagnosis Clues Checklist





 Does it have an author? If so, who are they?

 Does it include the author’s credentials? If so, what makes them knowledgeable on this topic?

 Are author’s opinion/s based on emotion?

 Does it include a research method?

 Does it mention participants, a sample, or subjects?

 Does it have specialized / technical vocabulary?

 Is it a short article? Or does it include complex language that will take you much time to read and understand?

 Does it cite sources? If so, could you use the citations to find the source?




Part III: Searching for Scholarly Articles

Instructions: By now, you should know various ways to find an article by it's citation in the UTEP Library's online catalog. The librarian will demonstrate how to look up the scholarly or non-scholarly status of an article. Afterwards, please practice with the example below.


A. Is it a Peer Reviewed Article?

Instructions: Which of these article citations come(s) from a peer-reviewed journal?

a. Cuba, L., & Hummon, D. M. (1993). A place to call home: Identification with dwelling, community, and region. The sociological quarterly, 34(1), 111-131.

b. Lowenthal, A. F., Whitehead, L., & Piccone, T. (2010). Obama and the Americas. Foreign Affairs, 89(4), 110-124.

c. Hinch, T. D. (1990). Cuban tourism industry—its re-emergence and future. Tourism Management, 11(3), 214-226.

Prove it: 1) Provide the dates the peer-reviewed journal is available through the UTEP Library; 2) List the database(s) through which the peer-reviewed journal is available.




Part IV: How do you find scholarly articles?

Instructions: What are two ways to find scholarly articles?








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