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History: Getting Started: Is it Scholarly?

This guide offers a starting point for research in various areas of History.

How to tell if you're looking at a Scholarly source

Scholarly articles have the following traits:

  • They tend to be long, greater than 5 pages
  • They are written by researchers
  • They are well-documented, with long lists of references at the end
  • They are published by reputable publishers in publications that may have the words "Journal," or "Review" in the title

 

Screenshot of the top portion of a scholarly journal article, showing the number of pages and the author's credentials.

 

Scholarly books are acceptable secondary sources, but how can you tell if a book is scholarly? Here are a few things to look for:

  • One author
  • Published by a University press (Oxford University Press, for example)
  • Includes a significant bibliography

The example below highlights the areas to look at for clues in the catalog record.

 

 

 If you are not sure whether you have a scholarly source, please ask!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.