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Characteristics of Scholarly Writing and Evaluating Secondary Sources. Scholarly writings. Identifiable characteristics: Specialized topic Written by academics for an academic audience Author’s name, credentials and affiliation listed Usually includes a literature review

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scholarly writings
Scholarly writings
  • Identifiable characteristics:
    • Specialized topic
    • Written by academics for an academic audience
    • Author’s name, credentials and affiliation listed
    • Usually includes a literature review
    • Extensively footnoted
    • Generally not many graphics
scholarly academic journals
Scholarly/Academic Journals
  • Additional identifiable characteristics:
    • A periodical with a limited number of issues per year than magazines
    • Many sponsored by an academic organization
    • Little advertising other than for books
    • Generally lengthy articles 15-30 pages
    • Generally not available for sale at a newstand – subscription only
    • Many have names that include the words:
      • journal, quarterly, review, bulletin
peer review refereed
Peer Review / Refereed
  • Definition:
    • Blind-reviewed by experts who judge if the article or book provides an original contribution to the scholarship and merits publication
  • Examples:
    • American Historical Review
    • Journal of Popular Culture
    • William & Mary Quarterly
slide7

Knowledge Cycle

Develop & Discuss Ideas

Time Cycle

Generalize &Formalize

Report Research

PopularizeResearch

Publish Research

slide8

Publications Cycle

Knowledge Cycle

Email, listservs,letters

Develop & Discuss Ideas

Encyclopedias, text books

Time Cycle

Generalize &Formalize

Report Research

Dissertations, conference papers

PopularizeResearch

Magazine articles, popular history books

Publish Research

Scholarly books and journal articles

slide9

Access Cycle

Google?

Publications Cycle

UW Libraries Catalog, guides to history research

Knowledge Cycle

Email, listservs,letters

Develop & Discuss Ideas

Encyclopedias, text books

Time Cycle

Generalize &Formalize

Report Research

Dissertations, conference papers

PopularizeResearch

Magazine articles, popular history books

Publish Research

Dissertation Abstracts

Scholarly books and journal articles

Indexes: Expanded Academic Index, Research Library; UW Libraries Catalog

UW Libraries Catalog, indexes: AHL, HA

evaluating secondary sources

Evaluating Secondary Sources

Judging a book by it’s cover…

internal considerations
Internal considerations
  • What is the author’s thesis?
  • Does the author situate his/her work in the large field of scholarship on this topic?
  • What evidence does the author use?
    • Types of sources
    • Appropriateness of sources to thesis/topic
    • Are the sources appropriately cited
  • Does the author make his/her case?
  • Is the article/book written well?
external considerations
External considerations
  • Who is the author? What else have they written? Are they an expert in their topic?
    • Check databases to see what else they’ve written
    • Search the web to find out where they’re working
external considerations13
External considerations
  • Who is the publisher? Is it reputable?
    • Check the publisher’s website:
      • University press?
      • What other books does it publish?
    • For journals – is it peer-reviewed:
      • Publisher website
      • Directories:
        • Serials Directory
        • Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory
external considerations14
External considerations
  • How do others view the book/article?
    • Book reviews
      • Expanded Academic Index
      • America History & Life
      • JSTOR
    • Is the book/article being used by other scholars?
      • Arts & Humanities Citation Index (part of the Web of Science database)
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