We often use the term "academic article" interchangeably with "peer-reviewed article," but they are not always the same thing.
No matter what article type you use, it is critical to evaluate the content for yourself. Peer-review can be a flawed and sometimes exclusionary process that can favor the status quo. Additionally, some publishers and journals claim to have a working peer-review process that proves to be either non-existent or deeply flawed; these are often referred to as predatory publishers and journals.
Ask yourself these questions before using an article:
The most efficient way to search in a database is to use the words AND, OR, and NOT to define relationships between keywords and phrases. Learning how to use these operators ensure that you will be able to quickly find articles that are most appropriate for your topic.
AND - combines terms and narrows results. The database must find all of the keywords and phrases in an article in order to return results.
OR - identifies alternate terms and expands results. The database will return results with any (or both) of the keywords in the record.
NOT - subtracts results containing the NOT term, narrowing the results. The database will search for articles containing the first time, then remove results that contain the NOT term.
Use these to further customize your search strategy
Parentheses ( ) - Use ( ) to enclose statements you want to database to search first. This is typically used to apply an AND term to an OR statement.
Truncation * - Use * at the end of a keyword to find various ending and spellings
Wildcard ? - Use ? to substitute one letter of a word. Typically used to find words that have the same meaning but are spelled differently.