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East Asian Art

Research aid for students in Dr. Miller's courses at Southwestern University

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Many of our databases, including Academic Search Complete, allow you to refine your search to limit results to scholarly (also called peer-reviewed or refereed) articles. Some others, such as JSTOR and Project Muse, contain only scholarly material.
Depending on the nature of your research, both scholarly journals and popular magazines can be valuable sources. Your professors will tell you what kinds of sources are acceptable for specific assignments.
Examples of a popular and a scholarly article:

Popular: Yuan, Yuan. "Priceless Art Piece." Beijing Review 54, no. 25 (June 23, 2011): 43. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed November 1, 2011).

Scholarly: Wiseman, Mary Bittner. "Subversive Strategies in Chinese Avant-Garde Art." Journal Of Aesthetics & Art Criticism 65, no. 1 (January 2007): 109-119. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed November 1, 2011).
If you are unable to find enough information to determine whether a journal is scholarly or not, ask a librarian for help.


"Periodicals" are ongoing publications that come out with new individual issues over time, such as People Weekly, The New York Times, or Archives of Asian Art. Each issue of a periodical contains unique articles, which can be identified by using indexes and databases. Periodicals can be generally classified as scholarly journals (also called "peer-reviewed") or non-scholarly. Non-scholarly periodicals include popular and journalistic sources--magazines or newspapers.  

Scholarly journals like Archives of Asian Art, popular magazines like People Weekly, and newspapers like The New York Times, each have different editorial processes and it is important to know the clues that will help you distinguish one type of periodical from another so you can use the kinds of sources your professors require you to use for particular assignments. Below is a PDF with a chart that will help.

Characteristics of scholarly journals versus popular magazines




How can you tell the difference
between these two types of
periodical articles?

Archives of Asian Art is an annual journal devoted to the arts of South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia. Each issue presents articles by leading scholars and a selection of outstanding works of Asian art acquired by North American museums during the previous year.

Established in 1993, ArtAsiaPacific magazine is the leading English-language periodical covering contemporary art and culture from Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.


Longer articles, providing
in-depth analysis of topics

Shorter articles, providing
broader overviews of topics


Author usually an expert or specialist in the field, name and credentials always provided

Author usually a staff writer or a journalist, name and credentials often not provided


Written in the specialized vocabulary of the field for scholarly readers (professors, researchers or students)

Written in non-technical vocabulary for anyone to understand


Articles usually more structured, may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, bibliography

Articles do not necessarily follow a specific format or structure

Special Features

Illustrations that support the text, such as tables of statistics, graphs, maps, or photographs

Illustrations with glossy or color photographs, usually for advertising purposes


Articles usually reviewed and critically evaluated by a board of experts in the field (refereed)

Articles are not evaluated by experts in the field, but by editors on staff


A bibliography (works cited) and/or footnotes are always provided to document research thoroughly

A bibliography (works cited) is usually not provided, although names of reports or references may be mentioned in the text

 This table adapted from an original provided courtesy of the University of Texas San Antonio Library

Peer Review

 Peer-reviewed publishing is different from other types of publishing, like books, newspapers, and magazines.

The author is usually a professor or researcher and the article they submit to a journal goes through a rigorous process of review by other experts in their field of study before being published in a journal.

Sometimes, peer-reviewed is also called "scholarly" or "refereed." This distinction can be subtle. You can always ask a librarian for help determining if a source is peer-reviewed or not.

EBSCOhost is the company that creates many of the article databases (like Academic Search Complete and PsychINFO) the library subscribes to.

On the EBSCO search page, look at the options and select Scholarly (peer-reviewed) Journals.  Doing this will limit your search to retrieve only those kinds of articles.

After searching for your topic in WorldCat@SU you will want to select peer-reviewed in the left hand column.

TIP: It may seem counterintuitive, but leaving "full text" unchecked will bring back more results, some of which the library can get for you through Get It! if we don't own the item.