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INT 1000 Introduction to International Studies (Russell) Fall 2021

In introduction to resources used for International Studies and global affairs and their interconnections, including world history, and contemporary issues such as international trade, climate change, migration and global pandemics.

What Makes a Book Scholarly?

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.

What is a Peer-Reviewed Article? (Loyd Sealy Library)

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:

  • The author of the article must submit it to the journal editor who forwards the article to experts in the field. Because the reviewers specialize in the same scholarly area as the author, they are considered the author’s peers (hence “peer review”).
  • These impartial reviewers are charged with carefully evaluating the quality of the submitted manuscript.
  • The peer reviewers check the manuscript for accuracy and assess the validity of the research methodology and procedures.
  • If appropriate, they suggest revisions. If they find the article lacking in scholarly validity and rigor, they reject it.

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.

Scholarly Articles

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. 

  • This type of article may also be called peer-reviewed articles, or refereed articles
  • Scholarly articles are one of the most common types of sources your professors will require you to include in your research. 
  • Scholarly articles are found in journals, which you can search for in a database. 

The McQuade Library subscribes to over 220 databases that range from general to subject-specific. 

Features of a Peer-Reviewed Article (Loyd Sealy Library)

When you are determining whether or not the article you found is a peer-reviewed article, you should consider the following.

Does the article have the following features?

Image of the first page of a peer-reviewed article. These items are highlighted: Been published in a scholarly journal.   An overall serious, thoughtful tone.   More than 10 pages in length (usually, but not always).   An abstract (summary) on the first page.  Organization by headings such as Introduction, Literature Review, and Conclusion.  Citations throughout and a bibliography or reference list at the end.  Credentialed authors, usually affiliated with a research institute or university.

 

Also consider...

  • Is the journal in which you found the article published or sponsored by a professional scholarly society, professional association, or university academic department? Does it describe itself as a peer-reviewed publication? (To know that, check the journal's website). 
  • Did you find a citation for it in one of the  databases that includes scholarly publications? (Academic Search Complete, PsycINFO, etc.)?  Read the database description to see if it includes scholarly publications.
  • In the database, did you limit your search to scholarly or peer-reviewed publications? (See video tutorial below for a demonstration.)
  • Is the topic of the article narrowly focused and explored in depth?
  • Is the article based on either original research or authorities in the field (as opposed to personal opinion)?
  • Is the article written for readers with some prior knowledge of the subject?
  • If your field is social or natural science, is the article divided into sections with headings such as those listed below?
  • Introduction
  • Theory or Background
  • Methods
  • Discussion
  • Literature review
  • Subjects
  • Results
  • Conclusion

Understanding Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources

Popular v. Scholarly

(UC Santa Cruz Library)