What is scholarly literature?
Scholarly literature is
Scholarly literature includes:
Scholarly literature does not include:
In general, information sources can be sorted into three types: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
|Type of Source||Definition||Examples|
Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based.
The works present new thinking/discoveries/results and unite them with the existing knowledge base.
Theses & dissertations
Journal articles reporting on primary studies (RCTs, observational studies, case-control studies, etc.)
Secondary Sources are those which are published about the primary literature.
They are sources that:
Review articles (systematic reviews, literature reviews, comprehensive narrative reviews, etc.)
Databases (PubMed, Embase, Scopus, etc.)
Tertiary sources consist of information which is a distillation and collection of primary and secondary sources.
They aim to provide a broad overview of a topic, or data, already proven facts, and definitions, often presented in a convenient form. They provide no new information
Reference works (encyclopedias, textbooks, guides, handbooks)
Point of care resources (Micromedex, UpToDate, Facts & Comparisons)
When searching for literature, you will want to consider the following secondary sources: PubMed, Embase and Scopus.
PubMed and Embase are the two major health sciences databases. PubMed has a slight focus on literature from the US, and Embase has a slight focus on literature from Europe and Japan. Scopus is a large, multidisciplinary database, which encompasses much of the literature from PubMed and Embase, as well as literature from other sources in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
PubMed and Embase have a number of similarities. Both databases:
However, there are some key differences between PubMed and Embase.
Once you've got your journal articles (primary literature), it's up to you to figure out how good the studies are. Less than ten percent of articles published in core medical journals are both high quality and clinically useful. You'll need to be a discerning reader to determine the quality and significance of any literature you find in your searches.