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Legal Studies

Explore library resources related to law and legal studies

Welcome to the Legal Studies LibGuide!

 

How to use this guide:

This guide provides resources that may be helpful to Legal Studies classes.

  • To find our databases or to look for an article click START YOUR RESEARCH.
  • To go to the library homepage for more information and resources, click LIBRARY HOME.
  • To see special resources for Legal Studies students, KEEP SCROLLING.
  • To find information on citations and bibliography, click CITING.

Databases Related to Legal Studies

Understanding: Peer-reviewed, Empirical, Qualitative & Quantitative

Peer-reviewed

Peer-reviewed journals (often called "scholarly" or "academic" journals) contain original research articles. These journals publish research that has been reviewed  by other scholars in the field - the authors' academic peers. These reviewers work to ensure the integrity and quality of the research being reported upon.

Empirical

Empirical articles are based on experimentation or observation. In other words, they describe the results of research. Peer-reviewed articles are usually describing empirical research.

Qualitative vs Quantitative Research

Peer-reviewed articles may describe either qualitative or quantitative research.

Qualitative research tries to understand who, what, how, when, and why. It explores the nature of something. Typical approaches include observation, interviews, and focus groups.

Quantitative research describes how much or how often. It relies on statistics and variables to prove or disprove something.

Here's a short video describing the difference.


How to tell if you've found a peer-reviewed, empirical article

Peer-reviewed journal articles -- like this example from Pirate Search -- are typically 10-40 pages in length and share many or all of these qualities:

  • List authors' names, email addresses, and affiliations (e.g. Park University)
  • Use section headers throughout the article, roughly similar to these:
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Literature Review
    • Methodology
    • Results or Discussion
    • Conclusion
  • Cite references to other quality sources

Be cautious, though

Some peer-reviewed journals will publish literature reviews, book reviews, and opinion essays. These should not be confused for original research articles! If you're unsure whether you've found an original research article, please contact a librarian for assistance!

Park University Library
8700 NW River Park Drive, Box 61 - Parkville, MO - 64152
Phone: (816) 584-6285
Toll-free: (800) 270-4347