Academic Sources: How To Check The Authenticity?

If you’re a student who has been requested to write an academic paper, where do you start looking to get your research underway? You’ll have to do research but the trouble comes with knowing where to look for reliable, trusted sources.

Students of today are fortunate because unlike the students of yesteryear who had to rely solely on information sourced from the library. They can conduct research by checking out academic journals online to find material for a good literature review section.

Examples of academic sources come from academic websites such as university sites. You’ll recognize these as the URL will have ‘edu’ in it. When required to complete writing projects, students can easily access credible information from these academic journal databases.

Why Use Scholarly Sources For Academic Research?

They are more appropriate because of their authority and credibility. Scholarly journal articles are good because they require authors to make verifiable the sources they use with their ideas and conclusions.

This is a different approach to web sources because anyone can write and say anything on the web or in magazines because no-one is checking to see that its the truth.

Academic peer-reviewed sources are written in a scholarly language by scholars and can be identified by their Format, Methods, Results, Conclusions, and the Bibliography.

If you aren’t sure whether an article is peer-reviewed, check the author guidelines on the journal’s web site or simply ask a faculty member or librarian. Questia’s library online, for instance, contains hundreds of academic scholarly sources from leading publishers. You can search for research topics by keyword or browse the database of scholarly sources by subject.

If you want to know what scholarly sources are, they’re those sources written by experts in a particular field. Non-scholarly sources on the other hand generally entertain the public, so they are things such as magazines and newspapers.

Where To Find Academic Sources?

They can be found in aggregated databases such as ProQuest as an example – ebooks, journals, news, video, dissertations and primary sources ‘under one roof’. An academic sources database like this is efficient and gives you the ability to search these books and journals. A list of academic sources will always include these types of academic sources:

  • Google Scholar
  • EBSCO
  • Google Books
  • Microsoft Academic Search
  • JSTOR….and others

Academic Sources Definition

When you’re writing a paper, always start with academic sources, also referred to as scholarly sources. Such sources include the likes of academic journals and books.

These sources are peer-reviewed by experts who looked at the source of information for quality and accuracy. If a source is peer-reviewed, it’s a good choice for accurate information about a topic.

Also, when you do research, it is important to distinguish between scholarly vs popular sources. Journal articles are referred to as scholarly while magazine articles are looked upon as magazines. To use sources properly, writers need to identify the reason for using it.

How To Choose Academic Sources

One of the main learning outcomes of a student being at university is knowing how to find academic sources and also decide whether it is appropriate to use. The university library is a good resource for students looking for help concerning the choice of sources.

Some databases have scholarly journals, others have a mix of scholarly journals, newspapers, popular magazines and other material.

Academic sources are preferred over other types of sources because they are more convincing, more authoritative and a source that has been written by an expert who is recognized in a field.

Academic sources are peer-reviewed, which means that other academics have read the source and it has been checked by them for accuracy.

Not all sources will reveal whether they are peer-reviewed, so it’s a good idea to look at the author’s credentials. Are they educated, skilled writers with an advanced degree from a leading university?.

You can also look for a list of references because most quality research is based on other research so a good source will have a list of works the author studies. You can also tell quite a bit about a source by looking at the publisher.

Scholarly sources need to be published by a professional association like a university or by a recognized academic publisher. The publishers will peer-review the books that they publish.

The Value Of Library Databases

These library databases are an indexed collection of newspaper articles, abstracts, magazines, journals, and other information. They have all been checked for accuracy by publishers and then licensed for online distribution.

Students want to know what the difference is between library databases and searching online. Databases aren’t the Internet. Databases are accessed with Internet browsers but you’re not searching the Internet which is a collection of computer networks. The World Wide Web is just a small part of the Internet made up of sites that allow one to share Internet information.

A database is a collection of information. They’re found in different formats. Library databases include scholarly journals, newspapers, and magazine articles.

Students want to know if they can find information in databases using Internet search engines but they can’t because database information is protected by copyright and libraries pay to have access to this information.

There are credible databases on the web – newspapers, magazine articles, books, reviews, biographies and more. Some databases provide information which is accurate, current and validated.

The Web Can Also Be Credible

There are advantages to be had when you get information from academic sources online. But how can one know if these sources are credible? The authors of these academic journals have to verify their information sources with citations and links.

Personal opinions aren’t allowed, making these online academic journals credible and authoritative.

  • Credible sources are unbiased and are backed up with evidence.
  • When writing a research paper, always use and cite credible sources.
  • Scholarly articles discuss and outline the merits of other viewpoints which are in contrast to their views. They don’t try to justify their conclusions as the only credible truth.

There is a lot of information on the Internet that isn’t true. If you have to write an academic paper on the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, you will need to find correct information on the topic or lose the interest of readers who query the facts.

For a student who needs to write an academic paper, it is essential to use credible sources in these research papers. Your audience will always expect you to have backed up your statements with credibility.

If you want your readers to believe what you are writing about, they expect you to have used the best, most correct and also the most recent information possible so that they can trust what they’re reading as well as your expertise. As you see, many factors make a source credible, and you as the student, need to check to verify that the information is credible. If you think you need professional help, contact our thesis writers.

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