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ITAL 461: Dante's Divine Comedy

Finding Scholarly Resources

What is a peer reviewed or scholarly article?
It is an article written by an identifiable expert in the field, for experts in the field, that has undergone a evaluation process to ensure the quality of the research and methodology  They are usually identified by certain characteristics, seen on What is a Scholarly Journal?

 

Identifying Scholarly Materials

In order to read scholarly materials accurately, you first need to be able to identify them. Let's look at the most common attributes of scholarly materials.

  • Aesthetics: As opposed to popular sources, scholarly materials aren't as flashy. You'll see fewer images and decorative elements. Every part of a scholarly source has a purpose.
  • Audience: Scholarly articles are written for scholars and experts in a specific research field and can include a wide variety of disciplines, including the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and other subjects.
  • Authority: Authors of published scholarly materials are experts in their fields, have credentials and affiliations to prove their authority, and can pass the peer-review process.
  • Jargon: Special terminology and language specific to a particular field of study is called jargon.
  • Peer Review: In scholarly materials, peer review is the evaluation of sources (usually articles) submitted for publication by researchers in the same discipline.

 

Tips for Reading Scholarly Materials

  1. Start by reading the introduction to get a sense of the author's purpose or focus.
  2. Skip ahead to the conclusion for a broad look back at the material. The author also may provide important limitations to the research in this section.
  3. Take a look at the citations/bibliography section.
    • Are the sources cited relevant and timely for this field?
    • Do a spot check by locating a couple of the sources provided by the author. Are they accurate and relevant to the material?

For more information and practice evaluating resources, check out this tutorial on Evaluating Information.