In academic publishing, the goal of peer review is to assess the quality of articles submitted for publication in a scholarly journal. Before an article is deemed appropriate to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, it must undergo the following process:
Because a peer-reviewed journal will not publish articles that fail to meet the standards established for a given discipline, peer-reviewed articles that are accepted for publication exemplify the best research practices in a field.
How can you tell if a book is scholarly?
The fastest way is to check the publisher- if it's published by a university press (e.g. Chicago, Harvard, etc.) or other academic presses (e.g., Blackwell, Routledge, Palgrave, Ashgate) it is scholarly. Another way to decide is to look at the book's intended audience and purpose.
How are scholarly books different from regular books?
Scholarly books are published with the goal of contributing to research and knowledge of a subject, and support future research by scholars and students, not necessarily making money.
Who decides whether or not a scholarly book gets published?
All scholarly books go through an extensive process in which experts in the field read the manuscripts and decide if the book is worthy to be published. In other words, scholarly books are peer reviewed sources.
Remember, scholarly books are just one of many kinds of books available through the library. If you are unsure if the book you have found is scholarly ask a librarian or your professor.
Scholarly articles are a great resource for finding in-depth, current information on a topic. Scholarly articles have a more narrow focus than books, so you can try searching for more specific topics.
The McQuade Library subscribes to over 220 databases that range from general to subject-specific.
When you are determining whether or not the article you found is a peer-reviewed article, you should consider the following.
(UC Santa Cruz Library)