When writing about Republican and Democratic voting patterns on stem cells, science reports from a general interest magazine like might be considered sufficiently authoritative.
But when you write about stem cells for a Biomedical Engineering class, your teachers and classmates are considered more expert than the average non-scientist reader.
But what qualifies as evidence or as a reliable source is different in different disciplines, and sometimes among different courses in the same discipline.
It’s very important to check with your teachers about appropriate sources for the research you’ve been assigned.
When we speak about scholarly sources here we mostly speak about scholarly, peer-reviewed journals, but scholarly sources can be anything from books to conference publications, either electronic or print-based.
These sources will provide the most substantial information for your research.Nor does it mean that you should use only scholarly sources for all of your writing at Yale.Depending on the research context, some projects will permit a mix of scholarly and popular sources.The Yale library subscribes to several databases that specialize in scholarly sources (such as Academic Search Premier). If you use sources for facts or ideas in your writing, some research projects will demand that you rely heavily if not exclusively on scholarly sources.Scholarly sources are not infallible, but their publication process includes many steps for verifying facts, for reducing political bias, and for identifying conflicts of interest (for instance, for informing readers when a drug company has funded research on its own product).But a trade paperback issued by a major publisher may be sufficient.To understand this difference, it may help to recognize that when you write for a departmental class, you are writing for an audience more expert than the common reader.Some services have moved on, others have been created, and we’ve found some new discoveries, too.Many of our original 100 are still going strong, but we’ve updated where necessary and added some of our new favorites, too.Back in 2010, we shared with you 100 awesome search engines and research resources in our post: 100 Time-Saving Search Engines for Serious Scholars.It’s been an incredible resource, but now, it’s time for an update.