Books: Books can be tricky to assess for scholarly content. Generally the library evaluates the content of print material before ordering items and placing them in the collection. Some things to look for:
- Is the book published by a University Press Publisher?
- Credentials of author or editor: are they an expert in the field, a professor? Conduct some investigations to find out.
- Are there citations and a bibliography?
- Are there reviews of the book by the author’s peers?
Journal Articles: If you are searching for articles in certain library databases (EBSCO and Proquest) you can limit searches for scholarly articles.
- Is the journal published by a University Press or Professional Organization?
- Are the author’s credentials included?
- Does the article include citations and a bibliography?
- Does the article have an abstract?
- Is the journal mostly text (with some illustration and tables) or does it have advertisements?
Websites: Websites can be useful tools for accessing information. Keep in mind though that information on the Internet is not always current, accurate or authoritative. Ask questions like:
- Who made and maintains this site ? What are their credentials ? Is the information current ?
- What is the domain name of the site? Sites with .edu and .gov should provide credible information
- Is there an about page on the site that states who made it?