Scholarly sources are usually authored by experts in the field, and they can generally be relied upon to be authoritative and reliable (though it is important to critically evaluate every type of information source!). They are written for the purposes of research, they tend to be peer-reviewed, and they reference many sources.
Popular sources are written for a general audience to inform or entertain. They tend to be shorter and composed with non-technical language, and their authors are not necessarily subject experts.
Both scholarly and popular sources can be appropriate for your research. Just be sure to evaluate each source critically!
Dictionaries and encyclopedias are useful when:
Wikipedia is not considered a scholarly source, as anyone can edit it--but you can still use Wikipedia to jumpstart your research. Wiki editors are required to cite their sources!
To find reference sources, enter these searches in the CalArts Library catalog:
Scholarly journals are publications produced by experts in particular fields of study. They tend to be peer-reviewed, which is a kind of a quality assurance mechanism; other experts approve the articles prior to publication. Scholarly journal articles are useful when:
You can take several approaches to finding scholarly articles:
Books can contain many different types of information. They can serve as scholarly sources, popular sources, or somewhere in between! It all depends upon their authorship and content. In general, books can be useful when:
To find books, search the CalArts Library catalog. Scroll down until you see the "Format" filter on the left panel. Check "Book." You can then refine your search to print books or eBooks.
News sources like newspapers and other news media are useful when:
To find news sources, try searching news databases via the CalArts Library website.
Magazines are considered "popular sources," and in contrast to scholarly journals, they are not peer-reviewed. There are all kinds of magazines, from periodicals like The New Yorker to highly subject-specific sources like, say, Cat Fancy. Magazines are useful when:
To find magazines, you can use a few different strategies:
Websites sometimes contain information you can't find in a book or other print source, and they can contain the most up-to-date information on a subject. Remember to evaluate websites carefully to ensure the information you're accessing is of quality! Websites are useful when:
Social media can be useful to track news events has they happen and gather quotes from public figures. Remember to always investigate further; don't take what you see on social media at face value! Social media is useful for: