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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, and 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.
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Purpose is to present new or unpublished research.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
Written using formal language and structure: abstract,
literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, footnotes, endnotes and/or bibliography.
Articles always cite source information.
May include tables or graphs to support research.
General Purpose publications
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
Provides information of use to a particular 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Articles are not peer reviewed.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.