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Geology 203: Earth's Surface. Fall 2018

Finding Scholarly Resources

Scholarly and peer-reviewed articles will be found most readily using the Library Databases. The first page of this guide suggests some databases that are particularly relevant to your research. Scholarly monographs/books are published by university presses and undergo a similar review process. 
To decide whether an article is a scholarly resource rather than a popular article:
  • Is the publication a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal?
  • Are the author's credentials and academic institution given?
  • Is there an Abstract summarizing the research?
  • Are the materials and methods used to conduct the research described fully?
  • Are there citations within the text or footnotes referencing sources used?
  • Are the results of the research described in detail?
  • Is there a section explaining the author's Conclusions and a Discussion section outlining possible future directions for the research?
  • Is there a bibliography or list of references used in the research and cited in the paper?

For more information on identifying scholarly resources, see this Library Guide from Georgia State U

To learn more about the parts of a scholarly article, see this Library Guide from U. of Albany

Evaluating Resources

Criteria to use when assessing the quality of the information you find and deciding which sources to use for your research
Not all information resources are created equal!  Be sure you think about what kind of information you are using.  Some quick guidelines:

  • Authority - Can you tell who the author is? What are the author's and publisher's credentials?
  • Currency - What is the publication date? This is especially important if you need current/up-to-date information.
  • Audience - Is it written/intended for an academic or a popular audience?
  • Bias - What is the author's point of view?
  • Relevance - Is the information relevant to your research question?
  • Accuracy - Does the author cite his/her sources?

U. of California, Berkeley Library Guide for Evaluating Resources A guide to evaluating resources and distinguishing Scholarly & Popular sources

Writing an Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography contains your list of references with additional "annotations" following each reference. After each reference, you should provide three annotations: a synopsis of the findings in this resource, a critique of those findings, and how you plan to use this resource in your project. 

There are many good sample annotated bibliographies online and explanations of how to build them. These are some worthwhile examples:

Writing an Environmental Consultant Report

Springshare's information on Accessibility in Libguides - - MHC Accessibility Barriers Form