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Research Basics: Finding Scholarly Sources

Tips and tutorials for searching Library databases and conducting research.

Popular vs. Scholarly

  Popular Sources Scholarly Sources
Author Professional writers, journalists, or members of the general public. Experts (scientists, professors, scholars) in a particular field.
Audience General Public Other experts in a particular field.
Language Basic and clear - easily understood Very technical and scholarly - not easily understood.
Purpose Often published by for-profit companies for revenue and profit. Published by non-profit or education organizations to communicate new ideas.
Characteristics Tend to be short and on topics of general interest. Tend to be longer and are on very specific topics.
Citations Informal or no citations for sources. Complete and formal citations for sources.
Review Process Reviewed by an editor or self-published with no formal review process. Often reviewed by a panel of scholars in the field being studied. (Peer-Reviewed)

Finding Sources

These are the Library Databases where you will likely find SCHOLARLY Sources, like Journals:

Before searching in these databases make sure you have created a research question and that you have broken it down into keywords.

These are the Library Databases where you will likely find POPULAR sources, like newspapers and magazines.

Sometimes other types of scholarly or authoritative content is needed to help defend your paper's thesis. statement

Try out these resources to find other types of content.

Google Scholar Search

Use your keywords to search for physical books, DVDs, and magazines in the library.  You can also search for ebooks using the library catalog, or you can search one of the following databases.