Answered By: Sarah Morehouse
Last Updated: Aug 08, 2016     Views: 29

Sometimes when you have a scholarly article that has one point of view about a topic, you just need some articles that criticize or rebut it. Other times, a scholarly article says something  that sounds controversial, or contradicts what you’ve read elsewhere. Should you trust it? Perhaps not without finding out what other scholars think about it.

Finding those reviews and critiques is more of an art than a science, but here’s the basic step by step.

  1. Go into the database where you found the first article, or OneSearch. 
  2. Go to Advanced Search.
  3. Look at the date that the original article was published and limit your search to that year onwards. For example, if the article came out in 2009, set your search to 2009-2012 (or the current year.)
  4. Set the pull-down menu next to the search box to Title.
  5. Search for (“author’s last name” OR “short title of the article”) AND (“critique of” OR “response to” OR “response from”)

screenshot of EBSCOhost advanced search


For example, if your original article is “Two Faces of Power” by Peter Bachrach and Morton Baratz, search this:
(“two faces of power” OR (bachrach AND baratz)) AND (“critique of” OR “response to” OR “response from”)

Check out Creating a Concept Chart and Boolean Operators if all the ANDs, ORs, ()s and “”s are throwing you for a loop. Still having trouble? Ask A Librarian! In fact, if you have not tried complicated keyword searching before, just Ask A Librarian to begin with.:)

Bear in mind that not every article has direct responses to it. If you have tried several variations on the search and have not had any luck, even with a librarian’s help, you are probably better off just searching for articles on the same topic.

People reading this article may also be interested in Opposing Viewpoints in Context, a database that has scholarly articles, popular articles, primary sources and opinion pieces about various hot topics and controversies.

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