Scholarly/academic/peer-reviewed sources are sources written by experts and are reviewed by experts in the field before the article is published.
You may consider scholars with subject expertise have authority in the area of your research topic and thus produce only good sources. However, like all types of sources and authorities, scholarly sources vary a lot by date, scope, method, and etc, making only some of them appropriate to cite in your research. Scholarly sources may have totally valid evidence but not so relevant to your research.
Finding a good scholarly source to use can sometimes be a messy process, but below are some questions you can ask yourself in order to determine if the academic article is worth using in your research.
More information about factors to consider when evaluating scholarly articles
The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (official complete ebook)
Call number Z253 .U69 2003, available in print on the first floor of the library in the Learning Commons
Citing Archival Materials in Chicago
Turabian Quick Guide from the University of Chicago Press
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 8th edition by Kate Turabian et al.
Call number LB2369 .T8 2013, available in print on the first floor of the library in the Learning Commons
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