New York Times is a good primary source for current events but it is not a scholarly source; information on New York Times may be biased. Furthermore, the New York times lack the attributes of a scholarly source.

What is a scholarly source?

Scholarly sources are written by qualified experts (often academics) within a university setting for scholars in a particular field of study. The author is identified, and their credentials are available. Sources are documented, and technical language is often used.

Of all scholarly sources, Peer-reviewed journal articles are most revered. This is because, all peer-reviewed sources are scholarly, but not all scholarly sources are peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed journal articles are a type of scholarly journal article.

The peer-review procedure is a separate process where the article has been reviewed by one or more academics before publication. The review process ensures published articles are factually accurate, report scientifically validated results, and that biases or limitations are noted in the text.

Characteristics of Scholarly Sources


  • The information should be based on verifiable facts.
  • There should be bibliography or a list of references.
  • There should be no spelling or grammatical errors.



  • A specific author or team of authors should be listed.
  • These authors should work at an institution (such as a university or research institute) with a good reputation.
  • The authors’ qualifications (PhD, research chair, etc) should be stated.



  • The information should be based on fact, not opinion.
  • There should be no obvious bias.
  • The authors should appeal to the reader’s sense of logic, not emotion.



  • The source should be written for other experts or people who are familiar with the topic.
  • The language should be fairly technical, not simplistic.


  • Are author names provided?
  • Are the authors’ credentials provided?
  • Are the credentials relevant to the information provided?


  • Who is the publisher of the information?
  • Is the publisher an academic institution, scholarly, or professional organization?
  • Is their purpose for publishing this information evident?


  • Why is the information being provided?
  • Are sources cited?
  • Are there charts, graphs, tables, and bibliographies included?
  • Are research claims documented?
  • Are conclusions based on evidence provided?
  • How long is the source?


  • Is the date of publication evident?


Scholarly sources are highly regarded by academics. From the characteristics above, New York Times is a good primary source but does not qualify to be a scholarly source.

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