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Maintain High Standards
- Be selective in deciding who to read and cite. Research the authors, their credentials, and the reception of their work.
- Make sure that articles come from recognized journals and have gone through scholarly review.
- Use an article's works cited to find more sources. They can lead you to better options.
Use Encyclopedias Strategically
Subject encyclopedias are an excellent starting point for finding scholarly work. They
- Provide a thorough overview of a topic and
- Include a bibliography or suggestions for further reading. Use the sources they suggest.
Limit to Peer Reviewed
Most databases allow you to refine your search. Look for how to narrow your search by scholarly or peer-reviewed resources.
Here are a few examples:
Databases with Only Scholarly Content
Full-text of articles for many seminal, scholarly journals from the first issue on.
Full-text of Johns Hopkins University Press' journals.
Disciplinary databases are designed for finding materials in a particular subject area. Different disciplines have different standards for what scholarship looks like.
You can use Wikipedia to get background information and should use the citations provided to find good sources.
Don't cite Wikipedia as a scholarly source, because you can't tell who wrote the entry.
General search tips on how to search library databases effectively.