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Research and Writing (RaW): Identifying Scholarly Resources

Guiding you through the process of finding information - from knowing that you need certain locating, evaluating, and effectively using said information.


Identifying Scholarly Resources

Your instructor may sometimes specify that you must utilize scholarly resources. This generally means that your instructor wants you to use either:

1. Peer-reviewed articles: If an article undergoes the peer-review process, you know that it was written by an expert in the field and that other experts in that field vetted the article for originality and accuracy. You can check whether a journal undergoes this process by looking at its submission policies.

2. Scholarly books: To identify whether a book is scholarly, check that it has a list of references, that the author is qualified to speak about the topic, and that it was published by a reputable academic press.

Ask a Librarian or your instructor if you're in doubt or have any questions.

  Scholarly Resources Popular Resources
Author Experts or scholars in an academic field Journalists or bloggers or writers
Purpose Convey research results and produce new knowledge of a subject Entertain, summarize, and/or convey news 
Audience Scholars in their field General public
Evidence Contains a list of references Lack of a reference list
Language Jargon related to the field, which may be confusing to the average person Simple                                          
Assumed Knowledge? Yes, the reader should have some knowledge of the topic No, the reader doesn't need previous knowledge of the topic