Scholarly sources, such as books and journal articles, are written by experts in a particular field and serve to keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research, findings and news.
Many scholarly articles and books undergo a process called peer-review, but not all do (see more information about this below)
Scholarly sources' authority and credibility can improve the quality of your own paper or research project.
If you think you've found a scholarly source through a web search, you need to determine if it is scholarly. Even if you find a source in a library database, you may not be looking at a scholarly article or book, as some databases index many times of publications. Use the chart below to help you distinguish between scholarly and popular sources.
|Advertisements||Few, usually for publications||Numerous, color|
|Appearance||Black and white, plain, charts, graphs||Color, slick, glossy, illustrations, photographs|
|Audience||Professors, researchers||General public|
|Author||Scholar, academic, expert||Journalists|
|Editing||Peer review||Magazine editors|
|Language||Specialized vocabulary||Simple, accessible|
|Publisher||University press, research institutes, scholarly press, professional organizations||Commercial, for-profit|
|Purpose/Intent||Original research, methodology, theory||Entertain, inform, sell, promote|
|Documentation||Footnotes, bibliographies, works cited||Sources rarely cited|
Not all scholarly articles are peer reviewed although many people use these terms interchangeably.
What is peer-review?
Here are a few ways:
Find Peer-Reviewed Articles Library Tutorial
Look up journal names in the Serials Directory
Ask a Librarian for help locating and evaluating sources