How do you know if a source is scholarly or not? The following guidelines and questions can help:
- University presses and other academic presses (e.g., Ashgate, Routledge, Norton, Scarecrow, Garland, and Greenwood) tend to be reliable.
- What are the author's credentials?
- Does the publication have scholarly apparatus, such as footnotes, bibliography, and appendices?
- Are there advertisements? If so, what is the target audience?
- Is it heavily illustrated? Heavily illustrated books tend not to be scholarly.
- How current is the information? Older materials may still be useful, but always look for the most recent scholarship.
- For websites:
- Can you find the author's credentials?
- Is the website associated with a university, a scholarly institution, or a reputable publisher?
- Is the material documented?