Learn the Library Session C: Help! I need to form a research question!
Types of Sources
- a comprehensive view of a topic
- writing by credible authors
- work that has gone through and editing and review process
- access to subject-specific resources including scholarly articles; searches across many (even into the 100's) journal titles
- options to filter/limit search criteria
- tools for research chaining (links: subject, author, etc.)
- shorter topical articles
- appeal to the general public
- glossy pictures and graphics
- often no references
Scholarly & Peer Reviewed Journals offer:
- research articles and studies written by experts
- peer-reviewed: work that has been vetted by a committee of experts in the field
- in-depth and subject specific information
- long articles with references, abstracts, literature reviews, methodology, etc.
Trade Publications offer:
- news and reports, forecasts, and reviews from a specific industry or profession
- may provide highly specialized information and statistics
- frequently used in areas like business and law
Conference proceedings are oral presentations, posters and papers on a specific topic, often related to a professional or personal interest association. Conference proceedings are often schoalrly in nature, but not always. It is common for research results to be in-progress or not yet completed. As they are not published in traditionally scholarly means, we call this type of resource "grey literature".
Scholarly or Popular
|Peer Review||Trade Publications / Experts|
You may be asked to consult a peer-reviewed journal or use refereed papers for your assignments. Not all scholarly journals participate in a peer-review process, which is a way publishers ensure articles meet the standards of their journal. A peer reviewed paper is submitted and a panel of experts (often calls go out to individuals in the field) read and critique the piece. Any suggestions, errors, omissions or problematic aspects identified by the reviewers are provided in comments to the authors and a paper is either rejected, accepted, or accepted with revisions. To avoid bias, peer-review is done best in a blinded way so that both the author and the peer-reviewers have their personal and institutional information stripped so that it is unknown who either party is.
To determine if a journal participates in peer-review, check the "About" or "Information for Authors" sections where that will be explained. It is common for peer-reviewed journals to have certain categories where peer-review occurs (research and review papers ets), and others (like letters, opinion, product summaries etc) where it doesn't. You can also use the Ulrich database to get a quick sense as to whether a journal is refereed.
Peer Review Process
- Last Updated: Nov 7, 2017 5:08 PM
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