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Martha S. Grafton Library

BIOL100: The Living World: Scholarly Sources

This is a research guide for Bio100

Subject Guide

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David Black
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Articles: evaluate based on Scholarly vs. Popular

Scholarly vs. Popular

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Usually written by an scholar or a researcher in the field. Credentials and/or affliation are given.                        

Author Often a professional writer with no expertise in the subject area. Author's name may or may not be given.
Other scholars, researchers and students. Audience The general public; those interested without a speciality in the subject
Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires prior knowledge or a dictionary. Language General vocabulary. Understandable to most readers.
Articles have a defined structure with an abstract, objective, methodology, results, analysis, conclusion and references. Appearence Informal oragnization, usually eye catching. Typically contains oragnization and photographs.
Always provides a list of references or a bibliography. Sources are cited and can be verified. References/ Bibliography Rarely has a list of references, but can include sources listed under a section titled "more to explore" or "further reading", etc. Usually does not give complete information about sources.
Articles are peer-reviewed before publication by a panel of researchers or an editor for accuracy, methodology and importance. Peer-Review Articles are usually not evaluated by experts. Non-peer reviwed resources must be carefully examined for accuracy and relevance.
Effect of Caffeine on Prospective and Retrospective Duration Judgements Example Better Learning Through Fidgeting

Evaluating Websites

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You need to take steps to evaluate all of the information that you use in your research.  Special care must be taken with websites.  Keep these factors in mind when you're thinking about using information from a website:

  • domain name
  • author
  • purpose
  • content/coverage
  • currency

Learn more about evaluating web sources: