English 001 A (Rajaram): Ghana and the United States: What is a Scholarly Article?

What does it mean to be scholarly?


Anatomy of a Scholarly Article
A helpful website about scholarly articles from NCSU Libraries. Click on each section of the article to learn more about it. 

What does it mean to be scholarly? 

What is a scholarly source? 

Scholarly sources (also referred to as academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed sources) are written by experts in a particular field and serve to keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research, findings, and news. These resources will provide the most substantial information for your research and papers

What is peer-review?

When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author's field. They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, reject its publication.

Why use scholarly sources?

The authority and credibility evident in scholarly sources will improve the quality of your paper or research project. Use of scholarly sources is an expected attribute of academic course work.

How can I tell if a source is scholarly?

The following characteristics can help you differentiate scholarly sources from those that are not. Be sure to look at the criteria in each category when making your determination, rather than basing your decision on only one piece of information.



Are author names provided?

Are the authors' credentials provided?

Are the credentials relevant to the information provided?


Who is the publisher of the information?

Is the publisher an academic institution, scholarly, or professional organization?

Is their purpose for publishing this information evident?


Who is the intended audience of this source?

Is the language geared toward those with knowledge of a specific discipline rather than the general public?


Why is the information being provided?

Are sources cited?

Are there charts, graphs, tables, and bibliographies included?

Are research claims documented?

Are conclusions based on evidence provided?

How long is the source?


Is the date of publication evident?


Adapted from University Library at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: https://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/howdoi/scholarly.html