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Choosing & Identifying the Best Source Types for Your Research

Learn about all the different source types and when they are appropriate and helpful to you in the research process: encyclopedias, Wikipedia, books, scholarly articles, popular articles and magazines, trade magazines, news, and websites!

Scholarly Journals

Source Types


Used for


Scholarly Journals

(also called "academic journals")

·   Articles reviewed by experts in the field.

·   Contain original research and new discoveries; cover one or a few experiments.

·   Written for and by professionals in the particular field.

·   Long (10+ page) articles with sections such as abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion

·   Use language specific to the field.

·   Provide authors’ name and usually the credentials.

·   Include bibliographies of sources consulted at the end of articles.

·   Most illustrations are technical and used to explain a point in the article.


·   Reliable and valid scholarly content.

·   Updates on new discoveries and studies on a broad subjects.

·   In-depth analysis on the specific topics of a subject.  

·   References for relevant resources on your topic.


·   Limited coverage without much historical overview on a subject.

·   Uses the jargon and specialized vocabulary of the profession.