photo of stacks (lower floor)

SII 199 Sociology of Home

Journal articles

Key sociology article databases

Sociological Abstracts

Social Sciences Abstracts

Making scholarly choices

Scholarly sources

Scholarly sources report on original research by experts in a particular academic discipline. Often they go through a peer-review process, which means that they are evaluated by reputable scholars in the field before they are published.

Scholarly and popular sources

Criteria for evaluating scholarly journal articles

Part Questions to Ask
Author: Who wrote it?
Sources: Does the author acknowledge his or her sources? How?
Content: Is the content substantial?
Does it appear to be valid and well-researched?
Does it make sense, based on your own background knowledge, or what other articles have to say on the topic?
Writing: Is the language scholarly?
Is the article well written?
Do illustrations and data support the content in a scholarly fashion, or do they appear to be attention-getting, or sensational?
Audience: Who is the article written for?
Is it written for experts and researchers in the field, or for members of the general public?
Journal: Is it published in a scholarly journal?

Is the journal scholarly?

Is the article published in a scholarly journal? How would you find out?

Investigate the journal using these two strategies:

1. Visit the journal’s website to learn more about the periodical.
Is it published by a scholarly association such as the Canadian Sociological Association?
Is it published by a university press?
On the journal’s website, look for the “about this journal” or “submission guidelines” section to learn about the publication’s editorial policy.

2. Search the journal name in Ulrichsweb to determine if it is scholarly or peer-reviewed.
The black and white referee’s shirt indicates that the journal is peer-reviewed.

In-class assignment

Which article is scholarly?

Below are links to [three or four] articles on the topic of performance art. In groups of two or three, evaluate each to determine which is scholarly, which is reliable but not scholarly (peer reviewed) , and which is popular. Do not try to read the entire article. Instead, scan each article with the criteria for distinguishing scholarly from popular publications in mind. Focus on the first and last pages of each article. Record your judgement on the print handout, along with the reason(s) why you identified an article as scholarly or popular.

created by: Colin Deinhardt & Agatha Barc | updated: September 22, 2016