Databases make it easy for you to distinguish between scholarly and popular articles. However, just because an article is from an academic journal that does not mean it is the best or even appropriate for your research purposes.
Author - What are the author's credentials? What else has the author written?
Publication quality - In what publication does the article appear? Is it a respected publication in the field?
Publication date - When was it published? - Is the article timely?
Bibliography quality - Whom does the author cite?
Assigned subject headings and author-supplied keywords - These words indicate the primary topic(s) of the article. Are they truly relevant for the purpose at hand?