Scholarly and refereed sources : editorial control

The authority and credibility of the information is related to the identity of the author(s) and the publication. The quality of information may vary according to the reliability of its source.

Information sources considered ‘reliable' are generally those produced under some form of editorial control. The peer-reviewed journals published by large academic publishers contain information which is reviewed and accepted by subject experts prior to publication. Although publication by a reputable publisher does not guarantee quality, it does mean that the publisher has high regard for the work. Articles can be published in a variety of serials, such as refereed journals,scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines or newspapers. Refereed and scholarly periodicals have the most academic credibility.

If you look closely at your source, for example the inside cover of a paper journal (or the 'about' page of the electronic version), you should find information about its editorial control and reviewing process.

Professional associations and established organisations also produce authoritative information, and publish it in web pages or printed reports.

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SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Marion Kelt Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.