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CL 242: Evaluating Sources

Identifying Scholarly Articles

Following is a list of some TYPICAL QUALITIES of a scholarly journal article:
  • Article includes a bibliography
  • There are in-text citations (e.g., parenthetical references, endnotes, or footnotes)
  • The author's affiliation or credentials are with a college or university, not, e.g., a media organization
  • The article is written for an audience of fellow scholars in the field, not for a general/popular audience
  • The article is substantial in length, not a brief note on a very specialized point

What is a Peer-Reviewed Article?

This demonstration uses UlrichsWeb, which is indeed in Colby's catalog. However, you do not need to follow exactly these procedures to apply the principles explained in the video.

Evaluating Sources

Questions to consider as you read articles or books:

  • What is the main purpose and scope of the article?
  • What is the theoretical basis and currency of the author's argument?
  • What conclusions and observations are reached by the author of the article?
  • What conclusions and observations did you reach as a result of reading this article?
  • How do you expect to use the author's argument in your own paper?

Further guides to evaluating sources:

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