Academic sources , also called scholarly sources , are sources which can include books, academic journal articles, and published expert reports. The content in academic sources has usually been peer-reviewed , which means that it's been reviewed by experts on its topic for accuracy and quality before being published. You can recognize a scholarly source by looking for a few telltale signs. First, is the author an expert? Look for academic credentials or institutional affiliations that signal the author knows the subject they're writing about. Next, make sure the source is published by a reputable publisher . These can include university presses and professional organizations. Finally, look in the back of the book or article for a bibliography , or list of references, which shows that the author is connected to other published research.