Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
rutgers library logo dark

English 201 Research in the Disciplines: Identifying Relevant Sources


When locating sources for a paper, you may be told to only use "scholarly" or "peer-reviewed" sources.

Where do you begin to locate these sources? What types of sources are relevant and applicable to your research topic?

This page will help you identify the applicability of different types of sources and determine if a source you have identified is scholarly.

  • Watch the video, "Types of Sources."
  • Review "Sources Types: Scholarly vs. Non Fiction Books" to identify the differences between scholarly books and popular nonfiction.
  • Watch the video, "Peer Review."
  • Review "Is It Scholarly?" for tips to help you determine if an article is scholarly.

Is It Scholarly?

Identify the following features of an article to determine if it is a scholarly work.


  • Scholarly articles are typically at least 8 pages long and include diagrams, charts, or graphs.


  • Scholarly articles always have a list of cited works


  • Scholarly articles are written for other scholars and researchers in the field, so the language is technical and specialized.


  • Scholarly articles are written by experts who usually have advanced degrees and/or academic affiliations.

Not all articles published in peer review journals are scholarly!

Scholarly journals also contain articles that do not undergo the peer review process and are NOT scholarly, including:

  • Book reviews
  • Editorials
  • Letters to the editor
  • Short news items

Source Types: Scholarly vs. Non Fiction Books


© , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.