Skip to Main Content

Research Essentials

Level up your researching, reading and writing skills with these essential tips and navigate your first university assignments. Find relevant support and resources from the Library and Academic Skills.

What are scholarly, peer reviewed sources?

You may be asked to use scholarly, peer reviewed journal articles (sometimes called refereed articles or scholarly articles) for your assignment.

Scholarly information:

  • is evidence-based
  • is well-researched
  • has undergone rigorous review by experts in that respective field

Peer reviewed articles:

  • have been reviewed by other academics ("peers") in the same field prior to publication
  • are considered to be of a high standard
  • are published in peer reviewed journals.

Find peer reviewed articles quickly

Many scholarly databases, like Discovery,  have filter options to limit your search results to peer reviewed articles. 

Try  a multi-disciplinary scholarly database that only includes peer reviewed sources, like Scopus or Web of Science.

Evaluating sources

The C-R-A-P Test can help you determine if a source you have found is reliable and relevant. 

C-R-A-P stands for Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose. 



When was the source created?

  • Look for publication dates for books or journals, and creation dates for webpages. 
  • If research changes rapidly in your field, or you need the most up-to-date research, you need sources that were created more recently. 

Are references or citations provided in the source?

  • What kind of information is included in the source? Does it cite it's data and quotations? 
  • Check the bibliography or list of references. Does the source seem well-researched?

Who is the creator or author?

  • Are they qualified to write about this topic? Do they have a qualification or experience in a relevant field?
  • For books, is the publisher reputable?
  • For journal articles, is the journal a well-known or well-respected journal? Is the article peer-reviewed?
  • For websites, is the website affiliated with a university, government department, or other organisation?

Who is the audience?

  • Is it intended for a general or scholarly audience?
  • Is it biased?
  • Is it trying to sell you something?

Tip: find works that cite your source

You can find what other scholars think of the article or book you're reading by checking works that cite it.

When a work is cited by another author this means it has been read and considered it, and included in the reference list of the new work. It will tell you if it other scholars agree or disagree with their work.

Some scholarly databases will provide a link to publications that have cited the work you're looking at.

Library Twitter

Library Instagram

Library Blogs

Library Contacts