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DJS 204: Freedom & Social Control

Andrew Austin

Scholarly and Non-Scholarly Sources

You are likely very familiar with popular sources, which are intended for a general audience. Popular sources include newspapers, magazines, and most websites. In comparison, scholarly sources are intended for an academic audience, such as professors, researchers, and college students, and they can take the form of journal articles, books, and book chapters. Trade publications are written for professionals in a specific field and are more focused than popular sources, but they are not scholarly.

In this course, you may use some non-scholarly sources to support your analysis. Since non-scholarly sources are not subject to the same level of review before publication as scholarly sources, be sure to evaluate them before incorporating them in your project.

Read about the characteristics common to scholarly articles and check out corresponding examples. Remember that not all scholarly articles are peer-reviewed.

 The purpose of a scholarly article is generally to advance knowledge in a field of study, often in the form of original research or analysis. Look for a statement indicating that the authors conducted original research or analysis.
Example: We analyze the causes of this stark contrast in status and evaluate what ecological factors contribute to the extinction risk for all 106 avian scavenger species.

 Scholarly articles are generally at least 5 pages long.
Example: Biological Conservation 198 (2016) 220-228

 

 They often include an abstract, which summarizes the contents of the article.
Example: Abstract. Vultures, which are the only obligate vertebrate scavengers, have experienced the most rapid decline in conservation status of any group of birds over the past decade...

 

 They are usually divided into sections and include headings such as literature review, methodology, results, and conclusion.
Example: Contents. Introduction. Material and Methods. Results. Discussion.

 Authors of scholarly articles are experts in their fields. Their names are usually listed with their credentials (i.e., institutional affiliations and/or degrees)
Evan R. Buechley, University of Utah, Department of Biology; Çağan H. Şekercioğlu, College of Sciences, Koç University

 Scholarly articles are text-heavy and use formal language.
Example: Scavenging, or the consumption of carrion, is a common foraging strategy and a critical component of ecosystem ecology.

 

 They may include tables, charts, and/or graphs that convey information.
Example: Table 1 Description of traits used in the random forest analysis.

 Scholarly articles include in-text citations.
Example: Over the last few decades, vulture populations have declined at catastrophic rates, especially in Asia and Africa (Buechley and Şekercioğlu, 2016; Ogada et al., 2012a, 2012b, 2015).

 

 They always include a list of sources at the end of the article, often called works cited, reference list, or bibliography.
Example: References list

Read about the characteristics common to scholarly books and check out corresponding examples:

 The purpose of a scholarly book is to advance knowledge in a field of study, often in the form of original research or analysis. Look for indications that the authors conducted original research or analysis.

Example: The volume before you represents both classic approaches and new ideas in urban bird ecology...
 Scholarly books may be written entirely by an author or group of authors, or they may be edited, meaning that each chapter is written by a different author.

 Many scholarly books have an index at the end of the book.
Example: Book index

 Authors of scholarly books are experts in their fields. Sometimes an institution and credentials are listed next to an author’s name. Look also for a “Contributors” section of an edited book (i.e., a book with individually authored chapters).
Example: Christopher A. Lepczyk, University of Hawai'i at Manoa; Paige S. Warren, University of Massachusetts-Amherst


 Scholarly books are often published by a university press or academic publisher (e.g., Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge, Blackwell). You can find the publisher for a book on its title page or copyright page.
Example: A publication of the Cooper Ornithological Society, University of California Press

 Scholarly books are text-heavy and use formal language.
Example: Our aim in this study was to explore the intensity of nest predation pressure on birds and patterns of nest predation risk...


 They may include tables, charts, and/or graphs that convey information.
Example: Table 6.1, the basic features of the tourist destinations included in this study

 Scholarly books often include citations in the text (e.g., footnotes or endnotes).
Example: According to some studies over the past decade, diversity may peak at intermediate levels of urbanization, a finding attributed by some to Connell's (1978) intermediate disturbance hypothesis (McDonnell and Pickett 1990, Blair 1996, McKinney 2002, Lepczyk et al. 2008).


 They always include a list of sources, often called works cited, references list, or bibliography. Look for it at the end of the book or at the end of each chapter.
Example: Literature cited.

References

The examples shown on this page are from:

Buechley, E. R. & Şekercioğlu, C. H. (2016). The avian scavenger crisis: Looming extinctions, trophic cascades, and loss of critical ecosystem functions. Biological Conservation, 198, 220-228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.04.001

Lepczyk, C. A., & Warren, P. S. (Eds.). (2012). Urban bird ecology and conservation. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com