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Identifying & Using Scholarly Sources

Best practices for selecting authoritative scholarly sources for your research needs.

Scholarly Articles Are:

  • Written by scholars or researchers in the discipline
  • Peer-reviewed by other scholars or researchers in the discipline
  • Published in scholarly or peer reviewed journals

Watch the video and click the image below to learn more about scholarly journals and how to determine if a source is or is not scholarly.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article (courtesy of NC State Libraries)

Click the image to open link, then click different components of the article to learn more.

scholarly article tutorial

When evaluating a web source, magazine, or newspaper article keep these things in mind:

The author:
  • Who wrote it?
  • Can you click their name and see a bio or if they've written and published anything else?
  • Are they an expert in their field or a trained reporter or just your Uncle Gary yelling about Millennials on Facebook?
The website or publication:
  • Are there tons of pop up ads?
  • Does it look like it hasn't been updated since 2003?
  • Is there an "About" link that tells readers what types of content are being published and who is publishing them?
  • Is it trying to sell you anything?
  • It is okay if an article is not completely objective, just be aware of that if you intend to use it.
  • Subjectivity is not the same as propaganda. Try to familiarize yourself with these differences.
  • If you disagree with it, that doesn't immediately make it wrong. Try to be aware of your biases as you evaluate articles.
  • Click here for more details about evaluating internet sources.

Recommended Free Internet Resources for Theological Studies

Check out the guide listed below for a list of free scholarly sources on available on the web.