Finding Scholarly Articles for UMGC's Doctor of Business Administration Application

This page provides information that will help you find scholarly journal articles that you can use as sources for your Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) application. It also provides information that will help you cite the articles that you find according to the rules of the American Psychological Association (APA).

The following topics are covered:

Where can I find scholarly articles?

As noted on the UMGC Library's website (see Access to UMGC Library Resources), due to the terms of the UMGC Library's licensing agreements with its database vendors, remote database access to the UMGC Library's databases is restricted to students, faculty, and staff who are currently associated with UMGC. This means that prospective students cannot be granted remote access to the UMGC Library's databases.

Doctoral program staff are aware that prospective doctoral students don't have remote access to the UMGC Library's databases, and doctoral program staff do not expect prospective students to have used articles from UMGC Library databases as sources for their DBA application.

The following free websites are among those that can be used to find research-based, scholarly, peer-reviewed articles:

In addition, you may also want to check with their local public library and/or state library (see for a list of U.S. public libraries organized by state), since many public libraries offer on-site and/or remote access to research databases.

If there is a public university located near you, you may also want to look into whether its library is open to members of the general public.

Note that although many of the sources listed above may lead you to a variety of different types of documents (dissertations, theses, books, conference proceedings, reports, working papers, etc.), the DBA program application asks you to select journal articles. Where possible, then, you should limit your search results to scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles.

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How can I tell whether I've found a scholarly article?

As mentioned above, you should keep in mind that you were asked to find scholarly journal articles for your DBA program application. This means that you should not use books, reports, dissertations, theses, working papers, etc. as sources since these documents typically do not go through the peer-review process.

You can determine whether a document that you've found is a scholarly journal article by looking for the following characteristics, as scholarly journal articles possess most or all of the qualities listed below:

A sample scholarly article, complete with annotations that provide more information about many of the elements discussed above, can be found at

You may also want to use Google, Bing, or another search engine to search for the website of the source that published each of the articles that you found. If the website indicates that the source accepts advertisements, then the source is not likely to be scholarly. On the other hand, if the website provides instructors for authors that mention a peer-review process, or if the site provides instructions for reviewers, then the source is likely to be scholarly. Note that scholarly journals are typically published by professional publishing houses (Elsevier, SAGE, Taylor & Francis, Wiley, etc.), universities, or professional associations rather than by commercial publishers (Conde Nast, Fast Company, etc.).

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What does an APA citation for a scholarly article look like?

APA rules require that citations provide very specific information that must be formatted in very specific ways. See Tips for creating an APA citation for an article from a scholarly journal for step-by-step instructions for citing an article from a scholarly journal.

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What if I still have questions?

If you have questions about any of the information covered on this page, please contact Cynthia Thomes (, a UMGC reference and instruction librarian who is the UMGC Library's liaison to the DBA program.

If you have questions about the DBA program, please contact Marina Caminis (, the academic program coordinator for the DBA program.

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Created August 6, 2014; updated June 8, 2020