Documents written by scholars that communicate scholarship to other scholars.
Some characteristics of scholarly literature:
Ask yourself these questions:
Who wrote the article?
Who edits the journal the article appears in?
Who would read this article?
Why was this article written?
Does the author cite their sources? Is there a bibliography?
Scholarly literature that has been evaluated and vetted by experts (outside of the journal editorial staff) in the field as part of the publication process. Peer review is associated with a higher quality of scholarship.
Check a journal's front page to learn whether a journal is peer reviewed. Remember, not all articles in peer reviewed journals are peer reviewed.
Publication of original work/scholarship, written by the scholars who conducted the original work or research. Intended to communicate scholarly activity to peers. Primary literature is the first place new scholarship and data is published.
What is the difference between a "primary research article" and a "primary source"?