Scholarly Articles vs. the Web - What's the Difference?
|Author||Expert in the field; researcher||Anyone; no credentials needed; may not disclose.|
|Publisher||Traditional publisher; professional association, university affiliation, commercial; e.g. "Academic Press" "Modern Language Association"||Anyone; self-published; may not disclose|
|Selection||Some editorial process; may be peer-reviewed||None; no checks or evaluation|
|Audience||Readers knowledgeable in the field||Anyone with a connection to the web is possible|
|Purpose||Advance a particular field; contribute to the literature of a discipline; "publish or perish"||Could be anything: personal interest, personal agenda|
|Documentation||References, bibliographies, footnotes||None required|
|Point of View||Usually (not always!) neutral||Can be slanted or biased|
|Access||Generally for a fee; cost of printed journal subscription, printed indexing, database that contains indexing and full-text||Free; only need web access|
- The "free web" is not where scholars in most disciplines publish.
- If you use the web, you must carefully evaluate what you find.
- The college and library pay large sums to provide access to the scholarly literature through print subscriptions and database access