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SPA258 Introduction to Hispanic Literary Studies

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.


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 LibrarySearch to determine if it is scholarly or peer-reviewed.
The item record for a particular journal indicates whether the publication is peer-reviewed: 
journal item record in LibrarySearch

Scholarly Articles, Book Reviews, & Literature Reviews

These three types of publications are part of the scholarly communication cycle, but their content and purpose differ in important ways.

Scholarly articles

As we discussed, scholarly articles describe new knowledge or ideas based on original research, analysis and/or interpretation. They are often peer-reviewed.

Book reviews

Book reviews are also published in scholarly journals, but they do not contain original research and are not peer-reviewed.

The purpose of a review is to summarize and evaluate a recently published title that contains original research on a specific topic. Often, reviewers contextualize the ideas presented by an author in a particular book within the body of the existing research.

Literature reviews

Literature reviews describe and assess original research sources (books and articles) that have been published on a specific topic by scholars. A literature review is usually part of the introduction to a scholarly article.

The purpose of a literature review is to summarize ideas that have been established on a subject and analyze what their strengths and weaknesses are.