Evaluating sources goes beyond the distinction between scholarly and popular. You must also evaluate your sources based on relevancy. Watch this video and check out the library's evaluating sources tutorial for more tips!
Reading a scientific paper isn't like reading a book. Hint: Don't try to read it straight through from beginning to end!
Here are some tips to help you become skilled:
In addition to distinguishing between popular and scholarly articles, you need to be able to understand if the scholarly articles you are reading are reporting primary research or secondary research.
Primary research articles report original research and results. You will see the data and work that the authors produced. A primary source is an article that reports this. Other primary sources can include documents such as diaries and scrapbooks, photographs, and eyewitness accounts.
Secondary research often summarizes the work of many primary research studies. In the sciences, a common example of this is a review article. Review articles report and analyze the results of primary research articles, but don't report any new information.