Is it a scholarly source?
Your instructor may want you to use scholarly (or "peer-reviewed") sources. What does this mean?
There are two main types of scholarly sources:
- Articles published in scholarly journals (print or electronic), which are usually peer-reviewed.
- Books (print or electronic) intended for an expert or specialized audience.
Scholarly sources are:
- Specialized: written by scholars for an informed, academic audience, at a level that requires some background knowledge in the subject
- Build upon the work of other scholars, often including extensive bibliographies.
- Examples: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of African American History, and JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)
Popular sources, on the other hand, are intended for the general public. These sources are more introductory, may not be written by experts in a field, and often do not cite any other sources. Examples of popular magazines include National Geographic, The Economist, Time, Newsweek, and People.
How can you tell if an article or book is scholarly? Look for:Read more
Library Workshop: Research 101
Unsure how to start a paper or research project? Think maybe you could stand to brush up on search strategies?
If this sounds familiar, Library Workshop: Research 101 has you covered. This interactive tutorial explores six stages of the research process. You can view it from start to finish, or focus on specific sections as needed:
Starting strategies, from choosing a topic to finding the right keywords.
The publication timeline, scholarly vs. popular sources, and differences in academic disciplines.
Search for books and other items in OskiCat, Cal's local library catalog.
Locate and access articles in library research databases.
How to cite your sources correctly.
Common techniques for constructing searches that yield useful results.
Specialized search strategies for targeting specific topics.