Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Sources

Scholarly peer-reviewed sources have usually been critically evaluated by other experts who do not know who the author is (called a doubly-anonymous or doubly-blind review). This process attempts to ensure that the source is judged by its quality and not by the reputation of the author. Authors of scholarly peer-reviewed publications often document their sources via footnotes and/or a bibliography.

It may be hard to tell at first glance what is a scholarly peer-reviewed work. For example, some articles, webpages and books may not have gone through a rigorous peer-reviewed process themselves. They may be a great starting place for information aimed at a general audience, and for other sources themselves, but they should not be the only sources you use, and in some cases, like Wikipedia for example, they are inappropriate sources for your citations. Information should be verified and explored more deeply using scholarly peer-reviewed works. Another issue to consider is whether a quality source is a primary, secondary or tertiary source, especially for historical information.
  1. First watch the following 4 videos from Belk Library's Video Tutorials and briefly summarize some important points in the 4 videos. Informal bullet points are fine.
    1. "Evaluating Sources for Credibility" [Duration: 3:14] under Research Basics
    2. "Popular and Scholarly Sources" [Duration: 2:55] under Research Basics
    3. "Peer Review in Three Minutes" [Duration: 3:15] under More Research Topics
    4. "Understanding Authority" [Duration: 5:14] under More Research Topics
  2. (optional but recommended) make a RAP appointment with the Library for help with your research
  3. Next, search the library databases for at least two quality sources related to historical connections or real-life applications of your preliminary topic, and identify the sources as peer-reviewed or not. The Mathematics Subject Guide databases are a great place to begin.
  4. Include at least one scholarly peer-reviewed source, and indicate how you can tell that it is.
  5. Search for historical connections of your topic in more general web sources and searches, like Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (Miller, J, 2008). Also use some general searches to try to find some diverse people and cultures who contributed to your topic in some way. Sometimes a general search is helpful to find historical connections so that you can follow up to find them in a more scholarly source. Your capstone paper will (eventually) contain peer-reviewed and scholarly sources (so no Wikipedia webpages for instance). Report back on how this search went.