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Occupational Therapy Resources: Scholarly Research

Information tailored for searching occupational therapy resources.

What is scholarly research?

Interpreting Scholarly Works

The University of Buffalo web site offers some tips on locating scholarly books (http://library.buffalo.edu/help/research-tips/evaluate/ )

Evaluating Books
You need to evaluate the information you are finding. It is an essential part of the research process! Consider these five criteria:

  • Authority: Who wrote the book? What are the author’s credentials? Who is the publisher? If the publisher is an academic press, this generally means a scholarly resource.
    o Tip: You can find this information on the title page of the book.
  • Audience: Who is the book written for? A specialized audience? Or a more general one? Is the focus appropriate for your topic?
    o Tip: You can sometimes locate this information in the preface of the book.
  • Accuracy: Does the information appear to be well-researched or is it unsupported? Is the book free of errors?
    o Tip: See if the author is footnoting information and providing a bibliography of sources consulted.
  • Objectivity: Does the book appear biased or is the authors viewpoint impartial? Is the author trying to influence the opinion of the reader?
    o Tip: Is the author’s viewpoint very different than others in the field? In that case you will want to examine the data and supporting evidence closely.
  • Currency: When was the book published? Is it current or out of date for your topic? In general, areas in the humanities don’t need up-to-the minute research while areas in the sciences do. Has the book been revised or is this a new edition?
    o Tip: This information is located on the back of the title page.

Importance of Research Quality