Skip to main content

Religion in Asia - Oakland Campus: Scholarly Information

This guide was designed to supplement the material in class lectures by presenting relevant databases to use in your search for books and articles. There is also information on how to distinguish between popular and scholarly articles.

What makes information "scholarly"

Instructors often ask students to find “scholarly”, “academic”, or “peer reviewed” sources of information for their research.  These terms all refer to the same type of information – sources based on in-depth research, which are considered higher in quality and more reliable for your research.

These sources can range from chapters within books or entire books, or journal articles, but all have common characteristics that can help you recognize that type of information.

Aum symbol

 

image of Aum symbol

AUM is the primary (highest) name of the God as per the Vedas

Scholarly Sources

 

  • Produced by experts or researchers in a specialized field or discipline.
  • Purpose is to present new or unpublished research.
  • Articles reviewed by experts for scholarly content or quality, or peer reviewed.
  • Written using formal language and structure: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, possibly footnotes, endnotes and/or bibliography.
  • May include tables or graphs to support research.

    Image of the cover of the Journal of Religion in Japan

 

 

Popular publications

Image of the cover of Hinduism Today magazine
  • Designed for a broad segment of the population.
  • Articles written in informal tone and often unsigned.
  • Usually read for entertainment or to keep up with current events.
  • May have a bright cover with glossy pictures.
  • Lots of advertising.

 

Trade or Professional publications

 Cover of Yoga magazine

  • Provides information of use to a particular profession or industry.
  • Articles are not peer reviewed.
  • May have a bright cover.
  • No specific format.
  • Articles sometimes unsigned.
  • Advertising is used to appeal to those in the field.

 

Scholarly Resources Explained

Here is a handy checklist to help you in determining if a work is scholarly or not (see the PDF below).

Confucian symbol

Image of Confucian yin yang symbol