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Why use this guide?
This research guide is for students in Sociology 439, Comparative Criminology. It is designed to help you identify, analyze, and choose scholarly information sources, including books and peer-reviewed journal articles. This guide concentrates on electronic resources, especially those commercial databases that index and abstract scholarly literature dealing with many different topics. In many cases, links to the full-text of the article, chapter, paper, or even the entire book are also provided. Whatever the resource, the assumption is that it has gone through review processes designed to assure that it meets academic publishing standards.
There is also a growing amount of current, reputable information on the WWW freely available and of interest to sociology scholars. This guide includes some hints for effectively searching on the WWW and evaluating the information you find there.
Peer Reviewed Sources-Huh?
The process by which an academic journal passes a paper submitted for publication to independent experts for comments on its suitability and worth; refereeing.
Some article databases lump scholary/academic/peer reviewed journals together. However, others filter the peer reviewed from the scholarly. In general not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed but it is probably safe to assume that all peer reviewed journals are scholarly.
- Be written by a scholar/research (expert) in the subject area
- Contain sources of information cited in footnotes/bibliography
- Use the language/terminology of the discipline to discuss research/findings
- Target an audience of other scholars in the field
- Be published by university presses (Oxford University Press,University Press of Kentucky), professional organizations (American Sociological Society, American Historical Society) or by reputable scholarly publishers (Sage, Wiley, Blackwell).
Examining a book you choose from UK Libraries in light of these characteristics will enable you to determine whether it meets the scholarly parameters of your assignment.
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