Research at the university level requires to consult scholarly sources.
How can you determine whether or not a source is scholarly?
General differences between scholarly and popular sources
|Scholarly sources||Popular sources|
|Experts (scientists, faculty, engineers)||Generalists (bloggers, staff writers, and journalists); not always attributed|
|Audience:||Specialists in the subject area (students, professors and the author's peers, professionals)||nonprofessionals, general public|
|Engineering journals, conference proceedings, books from university presses such as Oxford University Press or MIT Press||Wikipedia, CNN.com, CBC.ca; The Globe and Mail, Science Daily, Science News, bestselling books, books from popular publishers like Penguin and Random House|
|Specific and in-depth||Broad overviews|
|Dense; includes academic jargon||Easier to read; defines specialized terms; more plain language|
|Almost always include: abstracts (summaries), literature reviews, methodologies, results, and conclusions. For more information check out: Anatomy of a Scientific Article by NSCU Libraries.||Varies|
|Include bibliographies, citations, and footnotes that follow a particular academic style guide||No formal citations included; may or may not informally attribute sources in text|
|Evaluated by peers (other scholars)||Edited by in-house editors or not edited at all|
|Mostly text, with some tables and charts; very little photography; no advertising||Glossy images, attractive design; photo illustrations and advertising are more common|
|Communicating research findings; education||Entertainment; news|
*adapted from Berkeley Library, University of California. Evaluating resources: Scholarly & Popular Sources. http://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/c.php?g=83917&p=3747680
5 criteria for evaluating sources