Different types of publications have different purposes and different audiences. When we talk about source types, we can divide these sources into broad categories such as scholarly and non-scholarly; however, you should evaluate all sources you find and think critically about why and how you are using them. Below are a few characteristics of each and things to consider when using them in your research.
|Scholarly (also referred to as "Research" or "Peer-Reviewed")
|Often informs and reports on original research done by scholars and experts in the field. May also include sources with general information and established facts.
|Informs a general audience. May or may not provide in-depth analysis.
|Articles are written by subject specialists and experts in the field.
|Articles are written by journalists, freelance writers, or an editorial staff.
|Intended for a limited audience - researchers, scholars, experts
|Intended for a broad segment of the population, appealing to non-specialists.
|How do I use it?
|How to identify it
|Lengthy list of references to other sources, author credentials
|May or may not have a list references (often shorter if included at all)
If you have questions about what qualifies as "scholarly" or "credible," ask your instructor or a librarian.
If the article you have found in a database doesn't have the full-text right there, click on the button available from most databases to locate the entire article online.
If the article is available online, click on the Article or Journal links.