|Evaluating Scholarly Articles|
What is a scholarly article?
A scholarly article has the following features:
A. Examples of non-scholarly articles:
Sue Scout's Homepage. <http://www.suescout.net/capoeira.htm>
This article contains a list of links to other capoeira sites.
Problems: We don't know if Sue Scout is the author of "Capoeira," or someone else is the author of the article, and Sue has included it on her homepage. Because we do not know the source, we do not know if anyone has checked the article's facts. A list of links to other sites is not the same as a list of specified sources.
Black Plague." PBS. Copyright 2002. <http://www.pbs.org/blackplague2356.html>
This article contains a list of links to other universities whose history departments
maintain websites on the history of the black plague
Problems: Although PBS is probably an accurate source of information, we do not know if the article has been reviewed by competent peer editors. Again, a list of links, even to university sites, is not the same as a list of specified sources.
B. Examples of scholarly articles:
Sally. "Cancerous Melanoma in Infants." New England Journal of Medicine.
8.2 (1990): 33-68. Reprinted with permission. <http://www.medicinenet.com/children/cancer/jones.html>
This article contains a Works Cited page.
Check: There is an author, a title, a date, a journal, a volume and issue number, and a year. The pages are listed. Dr. Jones shows that she got her data from other reliable, peer-reviewed sources.
David. "Making Steroids at Home," Journal of Sports Management 88.5
(2004): 65-89. EBSCOhost Lehigh University Coll. Lib., Bethlehem. 30 October 2005
This article contains Endnotes and a Bibliography.
There is an author, a title, a date, a journal, a volume and issue number, and
a year. The pages are listed. Mr. Marcus's inclusion of endnotes and bibliography
suggest that he has given considerable research and thought to this subject.
What research range should a good bibliography display?
I. A creative range of primary documents:
II. A robust set of secondary sources:
III. A complete range of content within the secondary articles:
Questions to generate creative & complete research
anyone written a first-had account about his or her experiences with my topic?
Is my topic area something that a local or state or federal government official would have recorded?
Is anyone gathering visual information on my topic? (archaeological artifacts, films, radio, TV)
kind of database would have articles on my topic?
What library would specialize in my topic?
Is there a professional organization devoted to my topic?
Would museums have an exhibit on my topic?
Would my topic be included in a company history?
Do I have one or two articles
that give an overview of my topic?
Do I have five or six articles that give in-depth details about my topic?
If there is a controversy associated with my topic, have I gathered articles on both sides?