Scholarly Sources

Please watch the following video (2:53) on strategies for differentiating between scholarly sources.

In university, you'll often have to draw on scholarly or academic sources to back up your points of view and perspectives there are a lot of different options, like journal articles, rep orts, books, book chapters, and more. It can get tricky making sense of all of these terms. This video will show you how.

So, what's a scholarly article and why is it so important? A scholarly article is a document written by an academic for other experts and academics, to communicate new information and findings or arguments.

Scholarly articles are unique because of the peer-review process that makes them happen. Before an article is published, several other experts in a field review the findings of the article to make sure that the research is accurate and that the methods are appropriate. This process isn't fool proof and it can take a long time. But it has been the main process underpinning academic research since the first publication in 1665.

Peer reviewed articles are sometimes tricky to find, but they generally include the following: the name of the journal, which you should double check to ensure is legitimate. Author details, including where the author works, their degrees, and an email address or alternative way to contact them. Keywords and an abstract describing the study in question; while this varies from discipline to discipline, there is a recognizable structure to a journal article including an introduction, a research question or problem, a methodology, and evidence of findings. In addition to a conclusion or summary. And finally there are also citations and reference lists, pointing to other works that the author consulted prior to publishing their own findings.

Scholarly sources also include books and book chapters. A scholarly book is also written by an expert in a field, and is usually published by a reputable publisher, like a university press. Scholarly books are sometimes written by a single author, or written by multiple authors. In other cases, one or more editors join the writing of many different authors into an edited collection of essays. In scholarly books you'll also find a structured way of writing, citations, and references.

It can be really frustrating working with all the different types of information out there. If you ever need a helping hand, just reach out to a librarian. We're here to help.

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