Guide Start - Scholarly Research for Anthropology

College professors will usually require some scholarly (also academic, peer-reviewed) sources.

Three things to look for:

  • Was it written by experts? The authors are specialists in their field, list their educational background (e.g. PhD), and are usually affiliated with a university.
  • Is it based on research? The findings are based on a study conducted by the authors, or on a review of other expert literature. There will *always* be a bibliography or works cited list of the research used.
  • Who is the intended audience? Scholarly sources will use complex, expert language and be fairly lengthy. Most academic research is published in peer-reviewed journals or books, not freely available through Google.



Journal articles,
book chapters

Magazines, newspapers,
most websites

Written by experts,
specialists, often with
university affiliation

Written by journalists;
orgs or govt agencies;
or author unknown

Based on research,
has a bibliography

Based on opinions &
experiences, no biblio

complex language

easier to read

AKA: academic,

AKA: mass media,
popular press

Is this Article Scholarly? Use this checklist to be sure your sources are scholarly.

And check out this information timeline to understand when and how information is published.