What makes an article "academic"?

An academic article, also called a scholarly article, is an article written by an expert in an academic field. These articles are intended for other experts and scholars, rather than the general public. There are several ways to determine whether an article is scholarly. While none of these are hard-and-fast rules, they can be useful clues:

  • The article is written by researcher(s), professional(s) or other expert(s).
  • The article appears in an academic journal rather than a magazine or newspaper.*
  • The article is of significant length (usually over five pages).
  • The article includes a substantial bibliography or reference list.
  • The article is peer reviewed.
  • The article presents original research or analysis of a topic.
  • The article uses technical or expert-level language.

*It's important to note that academic journals, in addition to articles, also publish editorials, book reviews, film reviews, letters, columns, and other marginalia that are not considered scholarly articles. Make sure you look for some other clues before deciding that you're looking at a scholarly article.

Where to find academic articles

 Access to these resources is restricted to NU students, faculty and staff. If you are accessing these resources from off campus, you will be asked to sign in with your MyNEU credentials.

Before you jump in, take a look at our Top 10 Search Tips.

"I found this article through Google/Google Scholar and it's asking me to pay to view the full text. Do I really have to pay?"

No! You never have to pay to view an academic article.

  • First, search the article title in Scholar OneSearch to see if we already have access. If nothing comes up, don't fret!
  • You can make an Interlibrary Loan request (select "Access Your Illiad Account" and follow the directions). 
  • Our librarians will find the article and provide you with a PDF at no cost to you.

Video: Finding Full Text Articles in Scholar OneSearch