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how do i know which references are academic and which are not?

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A good question Hannah, and

D Litting's picture
D Litting, 3 months ago

A good question Hannah, and not always the easiest to answer. Basically academic resources have been made by academics for academic reasons. So if you read something and the work is credited to someone that works at a university, and the thing they have written falls into one of four major academic categories: a journal article, a book, a thesis or a conference paper - then you are probably on the right track.

Academic information is often associated with the process of peer review, which is most common in journal articles, though it also happens with conference papers, theses and some books (usually 'edited' books where the chapters are all written by different authors). Determining whether a document is peer reviewed can be tricky, but lots of library databases have a 'peer review' check box that will make your life easier. There are also databases like Ulrichs where you can look up the journal that publishes a paper and if you see a referees jersey listed by the journals name then that will indicate that the thing you are reading is peer reviewed. 

If you have a particular document and want us to tell you whether it's academic and/or peer reviewed then ask a a question on our website or email me at david.litting@uts.edu.au



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