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MCOM 4302 (Osei-Hwere): Media Communication Ethics

Research in Media Ethics

Is it Scholarly - Using Discover

If you search for articles using Discover, check the box for Scholarly Articles.  It will automatically search for scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.

When you see a list of search results, click on the title of the article that interests you.  You can verify that the article is from a scholarly journal if it states:

  • Publication Type:  journal article

Is it Peer-Reviewed - Using Ulrich's

The Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory is a comprehensive international list of online and print journals, magazines, newspapers.

You may directly search the title of a "serial" publication in Ulrichsweb to be 100% certain that it is a scholarly journal.

Each publication has a Basic Description about its Serial Type/Content Type.  It is a scholarly journal if it states:

  • Serial type:  Journal
  • Content type:  Academic Scholarly


Peer-reviewed journals are considered the most authoritative of scholarly journals.  The articles are reviewed by experts who specialize in the same scholarly area as the author.  A publication is "peer reviewed" if it states:

  • Refereed:  Yes

As a peer-reviewed journal is also said to be "refereed," it can be identified by the referee uniform icon:

Searching Ulrich's

  1. Go to the database Ulrichsweb
  2. Type in the name of a publication, such as "quarterly journal of speech".
  3. Click on the green search button.
  4. Click on the title of the publication.

This is a peer-reviewed journal.

  • The serial type is:  Journal
  • The content type is:  Academic Scholarly
  • It is "refereed" (peer-reviewed)

A "trade journal" such as the International Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications may be reputable, but it is not a scholarly journal.

Scholarly Books

  • Safe bet:  published by a university or academic press such as: 
    • Columbia University Press
    • Harvard University Press
    • University of Chicago Press
    • Routledge
    • SAGE Publications
    • Springer
    • Taylor & Francis
  • Maybe:  if it has a bibliography/chapter footnotes
  • Best bet:  verify it with your instructor

Filter Results

After doing a general search in Discover, limit the Source Types to "Academic Journals."

Databases - Scholarly Articles Only

Some databases only contain or index journal articles.  So you will not have to verify that articles are scholarly in databases such as: