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ARTH 415: Empires & Antiquities (with Dr. David Efurd)

What Makes a Resource Scholarly: A Short Checklist

Checklist to Determine if a Resource Is Scholarly:

  • Author is an accredited scholar, and almost always has an advanced degree, usually a Ph. D. 
  • Author usually is associated with an academic or research institution, which is reflected in the author's byline, bio, and e-mail address.
  • Author always cites, that is, identifies in detail, his, or her, sources so that you can look them up.  (In this way, a scholarly resource can help a lot with your own research.)
  • Author's sources are scholarly.
  • Resource in question is substantial in length; in the case of an article (as opposed to a book), you are looking at 10, 15, 20, or more pages of content.
  • If the resource is a journal article, especially in the sciences or social sciences (as opposed to the humanities), it is likely to follow this format: Abstract (or summary), literature review, methodology, results, and conclusion plus footnotes, endnotes, and, or, bibliography (that is, list of works cited).
  • If the resource is an article, it is very likely to appear in a peer-reviewed journal.  Peer-reviewed means that the article has been subjected to thorough review (and editing) by the author's peers, that is, by other accredited scholars, in the given academic field.  The reviewers oftentimes are members of the journal's editorial staff.  Not all scholarly articles appear in journals that are peer-reviewed.
  • As a secondary characteristic, the scholarly resource typically appears with zero or minimal advertising.

Limiting Your Search in Wofford OneSearch or in a Database to Scholarly Resources

Enter your search in Wofford OneSearch.  In this example, let us search for "wildfires" AND "climate change" AND "California" as keywords:


This search produces 14,000+ results.  They include multiple Resource Types--books, articles, reports, videos, and more.  But with the Availability filter, you can limit the results to articles in Scholarly & Peer-Reviewed Journals.  After selecting that filter, click on Search:


Your results now consist exclusively of Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed journal articles:




If, instead of using Wofford OneSearch, you decide to use a database, say, Academic Search Complete, you will find that the database also allows you to limit the results of your search to Scholarly & Peer-Reviewed journal articles:



Your results in the database reflect the Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed limit you applied: