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Use this guide for help in your education courses and assignments.

The Scholarly Conversation

The scholarly conversation is the existing research that pertains to a specific topic. Usually it refers to previously published materials and how they have influenced research or thought on the topic. When you begin researching, you enter into that conversation to find out what is already being said, and to form your own argument. 

How do you know what is being said about a particular scholarly conversation? Following citations in sources and additional research to help you follow the scholarly conversation. 

Is an article important?

As you follow the scholarly conversation, you will begin to notice specific articles mentioned over and over. You should read these core articles and follow their citations as well. 

The library database, Web of Science, will show you how many times an article has been cited.  If an article has been cited frequently, it's worth looking at.  The image below shows you where to find the number of times an article has been cited in Web of Science. 

Google Scholar provides you with the number of sources that have cited an article or book, as well as a link to view all of those sources. 

Google Scholar cited by.

Use a bibliography to find more sources

When you find a useful article or book, use the bibliography (or refrences) to find other sources.  For example, if you're looking for the 2nd article below, in volume 2 of Applied Measurement in Education, search for the title of the journal in the box titled Journals & Newspapers on the library homepage at

After searching for the title of the journal, the next screen shows you Dominican has access to volume 2 (1989) in 3 databases.  Click on the link to the database, then browse or search for your specific article.

Some databases list an article's references separately and provides links when available.