4.1 Scholarly Sources

Scholarly (also called academic) sources are published in scholarly publications (often called journals). A scholarly journal is the container which holds the scholarly articles. Some books may be considered scholarly sources, but in this chapter we will focus on scholarly articles only.

What makes an Article Scholarly?

Scholarly articles are written by scholars, academics, researchers, and practitioners in a specific discipline or field of study. These authors are considered experts in their field because they have studied, researched, obtained advanced degrees, and/or worked in their area extensively. The articles they write may report on original research they have conducted (such as experiments or studies) or they may write a review or summary of  previous research on a particular topic. These articles are intended to keep other experts up to date with new research findings, trends, and advancements in the field. Since the articles are written by experts in the field for experts in the field, the content is written at a very high level using jargon from that discipline.  Having some backgroundCover page of a scholarly article knowledge about the topic can be helpful before you start to read a scholarly article.

Additionally, many scholarly sources undergo a quality review before they are published. This process is called . Not all articles make it through the peer-review process and thus they do not end up being published. You will learn more about peer-review in the next chapter.

Scholarly articles are considered highly credible sources because of the peer-review process and the expertise of the authors. However, there is never any type of source that is completely free of errors or biases.  Most scholarly publications take many measures to ensure that they do not publish erroneous information, but it does happen from time to time.

When to Use a Scholarly Article

Your instructor may require that you incorporate scholarly articles into your research assignment, or you may choose to use a scholarly article to provide a highly credible support to an argument or a claim within your research project.

As you progress in your academic career, knowledge and use of scholarly sources in your field of study is expected.

Scholarly Article Identifying Characteristics

Scholarly Article Example

Click on the blue plus signs for more information about different features within the scholarly article. You can read the entire article online. 

Scholarly Article Check for Understanding


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