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Ethical Documentation - Academic Integrity in Research & Writing: What are Scholarly Resources? What is a Literature Review?

What are Scholarly Resources?

Generally speaking, a scholarly resource (versus a "popular" resource) is one that is:

  1. Written by academics, researchers, or other professionals with advanced degrees that indicate their expertise in a field of study.
  2. Written for an audience of scholarly or professional peers.
  3. Generally published by a university press, professional society, or a recognized scientific publisher.
  4. Written in a language, style, and format that other researchers or scientists would easily understand, but that which the general public or lay person may not.
    1. Publications in this category would include peer reviewed journals as well as commonly recognized textbooks, guidelines, or data sets within a profession.
    2. Publications, especially journal articles, will follow a format that includes a list of authors, institutional affiliations, a structured abstract, a summary of the research methods used, and will always include a list of references supporting the research claims made in the document.

While you can find freely available scholarly information online, you will miss out on key resources if you only use Google or GoogleScholar.  Many scholarly resources are only available with a paid subscription or license.  The library licenses thousands of ejournals and ebooks, as well as numerous professional resources in support your research and study. Please ask for assistance from faculty within your program or at the library. We would be happy to provide guidance on what research tools are available and how to use them effectively.

Scholarly, Trade, & Popular Articles Tutorial

How can we differentiate among the different types of articles we encounter?

Santiago Canyon College. (2017, Feb. 22). Scholarly trade & popular articles tutorial [Video]. YouTube.

What is the Literature?

This video explains what we mean by "The Literature" and explores how it is different from other types of information. This video also describes the role that attribution plays in The Literature.

Pfau Library. (2015, Feb. 23). What is "The Literature"? [Video]. YouTube.

What is a Literature Review?

  • "Search the literature."
  • "Review the literature."
  • "What does the literature say?"

If you have ever heard any of these phrases from your faculty or PI, then its time to get out your laptop and mark off the next week your calendar as "busy."  A proper literature review can be time consuming - especially if you are trying to conduct a thorough analysis of all published research on a topic.

Part of being an efficient, effective, and ethical researcher is to properly document the sources that you have gathered during your literature review.  This guide will walk through the basics, but if you have further questions, please talk to your faculty, including the library faculty.  We'll be happy to help you find, organize, and document your research appropriately.

What is the role of a literature review in research? What's it mean to "review" the literature? Get the big picture of what to expect as part of the process.
NCSU Libraries. (2020, Jan. 15). Literature reviews: An overview for graduate students. [Video]. YouTube.