Identifying Scholarly Sources

There are four key aspects to keep in mind when trying to identify if a source is credible:

  • Credibility
    • Are the authors names provided?
    • Do the authors have credentials? Are they relevant to the information given?

  • Accuracy
    • Are there spelling or grammatical errors?
    • Are there references, citations, or related sources of information?
    • Are there footnotes?
    • Are the publisher’a information provided? Who are they?
    • Is the publisher an academic institution, scholarly or professional organization?

  • Relevance
    • Why is the information provided?
    • Who is the intended audience of this source?
    • Is the language guided towards with knowledge of specific discipline or general public?

  • Currency
    • Is the date of publication evident?
    • How long ago was it published?
    • Is the source up to date?

Keep in mind that a source does not have to hit every single question in this guide. Ultimately, it will come down to your best judgement based on the information provided.