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BIO 230W: Biology: Molecules and Cells

What Makes A Source Scholarly?

You don't have scholarly works without "scholars"--people who are experts in their field and dedicated to study and advancing knowledge of the subject. Typically they hold an advanced degree in their field and work for an organization dedicated to education and research, like a university or sometimes a "think tank." It's always a good idea to "Google" your authors to find out what makes them experts. 

Scholars typically publish their research in special "scholarly journals." As young experts in your field, it's important to be exposed to these journals during your studies. Scholarly articles are typically organized in the same basic fashion, which helps make them easier for you to recognize. For more on this, see the Anatomy of a Research Article (NCSU). Scholarly journals are one of three main types of publications, including popular (magazines and newspapers) and trade (for people who work in a specific field).

Core Resources

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Once you find the citation, try the Get It!   button to see if Penn State has the electronic or print version of the article you need. If the electronic version is available, it will appear as the first link on the Get it! menu. If the article is not available electronically, click on The CAT link to automatically search our catalog and see if Penn State has a print copy. If no other copy is available, you use the InterLibrary Loan (ILL) link to request it from another library.  ILL will get a copy of the article for you, typically at no cost; articles usually arrive within a week, often in as few as 2-3 days. Watch your PSU email for notification and further instructions.