Why does my professor require me to use “scholarly” or “peer-reviewed” journals? Because these journals have a pre-publication review process where a committee of appropriate peer scholars reads each article and offers an opinion on whether it is worthy of publication in the journal. They use criteria such as soundness of investigative method, whether the author shows adequate knowledge of research on the subject to date, and whether the articles adds to knowledge in the field. Only if the reviewers agree that it meets the criteria will the article be published.
Many professors require that you build upon previous scholarship when you yourself write a scholarly paper. Using articles from “scholarly” or “peer-reviewed” journals will help you do that.
Where can I find them? Many of the GW research databases offer access to scholarly journals exclusively. For those that offer access to all kinds of material, look for a check box on the main search page where you can limit your search to just “scholarly” or “peer-reviewed” journals.