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Most assignments require that you use information from "academic sources". What is an academic source? How do I identify one?
An academic or scholarly source seeks to clearly communicate concepts in a particular discipline such as nursing, business, psychology etc.
There are no absolute rules! You need to exercise critical judgment.
It is often appropriate and necessary to also refer to non-academic publications in an assignment. Be guided by the set requirements for the particular assignment. If in doubt about the suitability of a particular article for an assignment task, ask your tutor.
The elements of a scholarly journal article
Types of scholarly journal articles
These are some of the main types of scholarly journal articles:
Original research article - reports on original research about new data or theories that have not been previous published. Includes a full Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussions sections. May also be referred to as a primary research article.
Review article - provide a comprehensive summary of research on a certain topic, and a perspective on the state of the field and where it is heading.
Case study - an intensive study about an individual, group or community in which in-depth data is examined in relation to several variables.
Comparison of journals
Academic / Scholarly journals
magazines and trade journals (although some contain selected academic articles!)
articles that have no bibliography (a prominent exception is Harvard Business Review)
In-text citations, Reference list at the end
Few or no references, self-referenced
Academic or qualified professional in the discipline
Anyone, sometimes affiliated with a product or practice being promoted
Appearance / Format
Text based and may include tables, charts and figures, little or no advertising
Advertising, glossy images
Students, academics and other professionals in the discipline
Weighs and presents all evidence fairly
May provide only one view
Discipline specific language, includes an abstract, generally substantial in length