Here are a few common characteristics of scholarly sources:
Library databases can make it easy to find scholarly sources -- click on the "How to Find Them" tab above for more information.
There are a variety of reasons to use scholarly sources:
Different types of sources are useful for different purposes. It's useful to categorize sources into these three main categories.
See the chart below for more details on how the three sources differ.
|Writer||Staff writers and journalists||Scholars/researchers||Professionals in the field|
|Audience||General public||Scholars, including college students||People employed in the field|
|Reviewed by||Editor||Editorial board made up of other scholars and researchers||Editor with credentials or experience in the field|
|Article style/purpose||Shorter articles written to entertain, inform or elicit an emotional response||Longer articles written in a formal, scholarly style to share facts and research with the academic community||Shorter articles written to focus on topics of interest and keep readers up-to-date in the field|
|Documentation / Citation||None||Footnotes/endnotes; bibliographies||Varies|
|Frequency||Usually published frequently (weekly or monthly)||Usually published less frequently (quarterly, semi-annually)||Varies Monthly or Bimonthly|
|Advertisements||Numerous ads for a variety of products||If there are any ads, they are usually for scholarly products such as books||Some advertising for vendors marketing to people in that field|
|Illustrations||Usually numerous||Fewer, and often include charts and graphs to support research findings||Usually numerous|
|Appearance||Usually glossy and larger in size||Usually smaller in size, thicker and with a plain cover||Usually glossy, but less flashy than popular sources|
|Examples||Time, Psychology Today, Rolling Stone, New Yorker(magazines you may subscribe to or buy at a newsstand)||Journal of Southern History, Annual Review of Psychology, American Literature, New England Journal of Medicine||National Paralegal Reporter, CMA Today, Personal Fitness Professional, Selling Power|
*Scholarly sources may also be referred to as academic, peer-reviewed or refereed.
"Popular Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals". (2005 July 15). University of Texas Libraries. Retrieved 7 Oct. 2005 from http://www.lib.utexas.edu/students/find/popularvscholarly.html
You are writing a paper about eating disorders among college-aged women. Both popular and scholarly sources may be useful for this paper.
Popular sources: Use women's magazines to find personal narratives by college-aged women with eating disorders.
Scholarly sources: Use scholarly journals to find an article by a psychologist reporting findings from a research study of the causes of eating disorders among college-aged women.