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HIST 260: East Central Europe from the 18th Century to the Present   Tags: austria, austro-hungary, czech republic, czechoslovakia, east central europe, history, hungary, poland, slovakia  

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

Evaluating Sources Print Page

Evaluating Your Sources

Evaluating Your Sources

Guide to evaluating books, articles and websites from UNC Libraries.


Scholarly and peer-reviewed vs. popular articles

"Flag of Victory over the Reichstag", photograph by Evgenii Khaldei, May 2, 1945. Source: Wikipedia. Image may be under copyright.

Peer review is the process used in scholarly publishing to verify the quality of the research and maintain the credibility of publications.

Submissions to a peer-reviewed journal are evaluated by a panel of scholars within the field who make sure that the research is sound, that it is a significant contribution to the field and that the article meets the standards of scholarly publishing. Not all scholarly articles are peer-reviewed, but most peer-reviewed articles are scholarly.

One way to quickly determine if an article you've found is peer-reviewed (referreed) is to look up the name of the journal in

Ulrich's Periodicals Directory

Peer-reviewed journals are marked with a referee jersey icon: .

Note: book reviews and editorials are generally not considered scholarly articles, even when they appear in peer-reviewed journals.

Scholarly sources are distinguished from popular sources in several ways:

Scholarly articles Popular articles
Author(s) Scholars within the field. Affiliations typically listed, and are typically academic institutions. Journalists, professional writers
Audience Other scholars & students General public
Content Original research General information, opinions, entertainment
References Cite other scholarly works & primary sources to support the thesis Few or no citations

Here is an example of a scholarly, peer-reviewed article:

Maxwell, Alexander. 2007. "National Endogamy and Double Standards: Sexuality and Nationalism in East-Central Europe During the 19th Century." Journal Of Social History 41, no. 2: 413-433. Historical Abstracts, EBSCOhost (accessed August 13, 2013).

Here is an example of a scholarly article that is not peer-reviewed:

Bergman, Eleonora. 2011. "Strictly Polish: Synagogues of the Early Twentieth Century." Jewish History 25, no. 1: 103-120. Historical Abstracts, EBSCOhost (accessed August 13, 2013).

Here is an example of a popular article:

Ahmari, Sohrab. 2012. "Dancing Over Catastrophes: The Far Right and Roma in Hungary." Dissent 59, no. 1: 16-21. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed August 13, 2013).


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