From post 1:
There are three basic ways to divide information sources for academic purposes. These are:
- sources classified by audience
- sources classified by closeness
- sources classified by quality measure
These classifications refer to non-fiction.
Sources classified by quality measure:
- Peer reviewed / Refereed
- No determination
Peer reviewed & refereed
- An article is submitted to a journal or a monograph to a book publisher.
- The editor sends it out to a 2-3 anonymous reviewers making sure the author is anonymous too.
- In very specialized fields, reviewers & authors may know or guess each other’s names, but they’re still supposed to be objective.
- The reviewers are experts in the article or book’s subject area.
- They review the information and send back comments for the author.
- The author fixes any problems and eventually the information is published.
- Sometimes the problems are too severe to fix or the author chooses not to fix them and the information is not published.
- An editor for a journal or magazine or newspaper or book looks over the information.
- It may also be looked at by a fact checker, who makes sure the author’s claims are factually correct, and a copy editor who reviews for grammar, spelling, etc.
- The information is published.
- Usually, the review is not as rigorous as that done by peer reviewers or referees; however, many edited sources are of excellent quality. Often, editors are experts in a specific field. Such articles in journals may be considered scholarly or academic, but not peer reviewed. NOTE: literature reviews, extended letters or editorials may fit into this category.
- Researchers may have problems evaluating an edited source because it is difficult to judge the ability of the editor.
- Most edited sources are popular.
- Exception: books of essays by experts in the field can be scholarly or trade