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ChemLit Basic Writing

Types of Sources

Books: monographs (ex. book on a single topic) or collection of works (ex. chapters)

  • Typically a secondary source, summary or review

Periodicals: (ex. journals, popular magazines, newspapers)

  • Typically more current; original research articles with data are primary sources

Reference: (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks)

  • Provides specific information like definitions

Government documents: (standards, reports, series)

  • Published by all levels of governments

Scholarly Vs. Non-scholarly Sources

Scholarly vs. Non-Scholarly Sources

  • Author: Who is the author? An academic? A journalist? What are their credentials? Who is the editor?
  • Bibliography: Is there one? What kinds of sources are cited? Websites? News articles? Journals?
  • Publisher: Who is the publisher? A university? A professional organization? A major publisher like Wiley?
  • Peer review: Does the publication participate in the peer review process? Is there a board of professionals or experts reviewing content prior to publication?