The good, the bad, and the ugly cccti versionPresentation Transcript
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly The Search for Scholarly Sources
What IS a Scholarly Source?
Don't think of a scholarly source as something that's been stamped SCHOLARLY SOURCE. Think of it as a resource which is authoritative , which is structured and presented professionally , and which has content and style appropriate to a scholarly rather than a popular audience.
Peer Review Process: A key distinction between different kinds of sources is that scholarly publications are peer reviewed (sometimes called "refereed"). That means that before they are published, they are read and commented on by a board of people within the field. The author then revises to attempt to meet the editorial board’s demands. The article is not published until the author has satisfied the editorial board. When it is published, it includes complete bibliographic information about the author’s research.
Make sure you distinguish between a peer review process and an editorial process.
A Few Things to Consider:
Purpose: The purpose for most scholarly publishing is to offer a research-based argument that is presented as a potential answer to a research question or to present the testing of a hypothesis.
Thus, a data report by itself is not scholarly, nor is an editorial or opinion-piece. The argument in scholarly work is produced not just by reporting information or, conversely, by speaking from personal experience and viewpoint. It is the result of interpretive and conceptual analysis on a specific aspect of a topic.
Do not expect scholarly work to take on every part of a large issue. The nature of it is to choose a narrow focus and engage in complex exploration of that particular focus.
Perspective: Even when a scholarly source is highly persuasive in tone, the author’s perspective should still be one of reasonable objectivity.
By way of contrast, a research-based paper published by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is likely to present a perspective that is already established, and the research and publication are primarily designed to support that perspective. While the article or source could still provide valid information and analysis, we might be more inclined to question whether information and analysis counter to PETA’s goals have been ignored.
In scholarly work, because the researcher is not driven by one agenda, s/he will (ideally) be able and willing to acknowledge and entertain concepts and analyses that may challenge his/her way of thinking, even radically revising initial assumptions.
Authority/Credentials: This is an easy one – find out who the author is. Most scholarly work is published by people with advanced degrees in the field in which they publish—as opposed to a journalist who writes about a wide array of topics.
Be aware, however, that authority can be acquired through experience and a history of recognized publishing. For example, Daniel Lazare is a journalist who has spent most of his career specializing in legal issues. He has published many articles and books based on his research in this field, specifically Constitutional Law. Though he holds no advanced degrees in law, the body of work he has produced has earned him recognition as an authority on legal questions.
Place of Publication: Scholarly articles are typically published in scholarly journals or books, which are typically produced by university presses or professional organizations within that respective field.
Publication in Time , Newsweek, or other trade magazines will be a sure tip off that a source is not scholarly. Titles like Journal of the American Historical Association and Journal of the Modern Languages Association are scholarly sources.
However, not all scholarly sources have the word "journal" in their titles, e.g., Critical Inquiry , Signs , etc. Some magazines have the word "journal" in the title but are not scholarly, e.g., Ladies Home Journal .
Documentation/Bibliographic Information: Scholarly publications will provide documentation of sources through footnotes, endnotes, and a list at the end of the document of the bibliographic information for each source. They should also present clear in-text citation for quotations and data.
Again, this does not mean that non-scholarly sources that do not provide bibliographic information are not credible or that they are making up all their claims and data, only that the venues where they are published don't follow these protocols.
Note on Webpages: It is not uncommon to find webpages produced by professors at colleges and universities or other kinds of experts in given fields. Often these webpages are used to publish arguments or encourage discussion on a particular topic.
However, the material provided on these pages has not been peer reviewed. Do not consider it scholarly unless it's a reprint of an article or essay that has been published previously in a peer-reviewed publication.
What Does it All Mean?
When looking for a Scholarly Journal Article, this is an excellent place to start:
The Libraries @ CCC&TI
Your campus librarians can help you focus your search and can suggest search terms and possible sources
What about Web Resources?
United States Environmental Protection Agency:
.gov’s are good places to find articles, statistics, charts, graphs, and up-to-date information on a variety of topics
or, Try This…
There are many good articles on Google Scholar; however, some of them must be purchased.
Welcome to Wikipedia ,the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit .
Because anyone can edit Wikipedia, it is subject to inaccuracies.
Also Avoid Sites Like This…
.info sites are basically clearing houses for information. If you find something interesting there, you’ll need to go directly to the source.
Also avoid blogspots
and the Ugly…
The Truth About Martin Luther King, Jr.
While this source looks official, and is a .org, it is administered by a hate group. It looks professional at first glance, but the extremely prejudiced bias is soon evident.
Choose your sources carefully!
Look for truly scholarly sources.
And avoid most internet websites.
Appalachian State University. http://www.appstate.edu.
Eastwood, Clint. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Google Images. http://images.google.com.
Google Scholars. http://scholar.google.com.
“ Scholarly Sources.” Green River Community College. http://www.instruction.greenriver.edu.
“ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” DragList.com. http://www.draglist.com.
The Truth About Martin Luther King, Jr. http://www.martinlutherking.org.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov.