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Scholarly & Peer Reviewed Sources: Overview

What Is Scholarship?

Scholarship advances an academic discipline by trying to understand or depict our world. It builds on what others have done and contributes something new. Scholars share their insights, discoveries, and creations. Each scholar's contribution should add to the discipline and influence others.

Ensuring Scholarly Work

Quality control is vital to academic rigor. Scholarly publications require authors to follow protocols, such as transparency in research methodologies or undergoing peer-review.

Indicators of Scholarly Work

  • A bibliography. Citations show that they engaged with previously shared knowledge.
  • Authors & their institutional associations are clear.
  • Found through a disciplinary database.
  • Technical or specialized vocabulary.
  • It's long, with a lot of substance.

What Peer Reviewed Means

Peer reviewed, or refereed, means peers reviewed the article before it was accepted for publication. "Peers" refers to expert scholars in the same research area. The peer review process makes it the standard for scholarly articles. For humanists, books are considered the pinnacle of achievement. 

Scholarly, but Not Peer Reviewed

Not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed. Sometimes a journal's editors determine if an article is worthy of publication. Also, not all parts of a peer-reviewed journal, such as the editorial, are reviewed by colleagues before publication.

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