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GEO 3305: Climatology: Is it scholarly?

Characteristics of scholarly journals

Check this chart for information about scholarly journal characteristics.

Authors

Articles are written by authorities in the field

Sources

Authors cite their sources in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies

Audience

Aimed at scholarly readers (researchers, professors, or students)

Publisher

Often published by academic or association presses

Advertisements

Contains few to no advertisements

Peer-review?

Most articles are reviewed by an author’s peers before publication to ensure high quality

Article scope

Journals usually have a narrow subject focus, and articles often include original research, reviews, or essays

Graphics

Illustrations often consist of charts or graphs

Language

Articles use jargon of the discipline

Examples

American Journal of Botany, The Academy of Management Journal, Social Research

 

Characteristics of popular magazines

Check this chart for characteristics of popular magazines.

Authors

Articles are usually written by professional writers or journalists

 

Sources

There are rarely bibliographies

Audience

Aimed at general population

Publisher

Published by commercial (for profit) presses

Advertisements

Contain numerous advertisements

Peer-review?

Rare

Article scope

Used to inform, update, or introduce a topic to a general reader

Graphics

Numerous colorful illustrations and/or photographs are usually present

Language

Language is geared to general population; no special knowledge is required

Examples

Runner's World, Ebony, Time

Characteristics of trade publications

Check the below chart for information about trade publications.

Authors

Articles usually written by specialists in an industry

Sources

Sources are mentioned, but rarely formally cited

Audience

Aimed at people in a particular profession, trade, or industry

Publisher

Usually published by professional or trade associations

Advertisements

Contains a few advertisements, usually targeting the particular industry

Peer-review?

Generally, no peer-review process

Article scope

Articles tend to be practical information, helpful to people in the industry

Graphics

Some illustrations;  often consisting of charts or graphs

Language

Articles use jargon of the industry

Examples

Adweek, Social Studies and the Young Learner, Software Development

Check publication titles in Ulrichs

To find out if a journal is considered scholarly, check the Ulrich's database by doing a search for the title of the journal.

 


 

To view a tutorial on what makes a journal scholarly, please see this tutorial from Rutgers University.

How do I evaluate websites?

If you find a website that you think might be useful for your assignment, use this list as an evaluation tool. This is just a starting point—you may find more points to consider as you become more comfortable with evaluating your sources. Some of these points are worth keeping mind as you evaluate articles, too.

Currency

  • When was this article or page published? Has it been updated since then?
  • Has the author written more recent papers on the same subject?
  • Does this article contain statistics or data? Are more current figures available elsewhere?

Relevance

  • Does the information in this article answer your research question?
  • Does the type of article fit the requirements of your assignment?
  • Is this article appropriate for college-level research?

Authority

  • Who wrote the article?
  • Is the author an expert in the field? What credentials does he or she have to suggest that?
  • Can you find any other resources that cite this article?

Accuracy

  • Does the information in the article fit with what you already know about the subject?
  • Does the article contain references or citations to other resources?

Purpose

  • Does the article seem to be objective, or is there any obvious bias or prejudice?
  • Does the author use emotional language?
  • Is the author writing on behalf of any company or political entity?

The CRAAP test was originally created by librarians at Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.