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How To...Identify Scholarly Information

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Editing and Review

Editing and review can be:

Scholarly - the author's peers (experts in a subject area) critically evaluate all aspects of the work; this is called Peer Review.  It can also be called Refereed.

Popular - general content; proofreading or copy editing for grammar, spelling, and capitalization


Identify the Level of Editing or Review

The publisher's website should give you information about their editing and review process.

Look for an "About Us" section.  Information about editing and review could be found in sections such as "Publishing Guidelines" or "Publishing." 

For magazines, journals, and newspapers, the database Ulrich's identifies which periodicals are peer-reviewed (refereed).  Use the link below.

Scholarly Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

Not everything published in a peer reviewed journal is a peer reviewed article.  Peer reviewed journals typically include letters to the editor, commentaries or book reviews.  These are not considered peer reviewed articles.  Look carefully at your articles to make sure they have the criteria for a scholarly article.  Some criteria are listed below:

Authors: Scholarly journal articles are written by scholars in the field. They usually have a Ph.D. Look for author names, credentials (academic degrees) and university affiliation.

Vocabulary: Since peer reviewed journal articles are written by scholars, they typically use the vocabulary of that discipline, which can be very technical.

References: Peer reviewed journal articles often have a list of references (sources cited) either at the end of the article or in footnotes.