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SSI2-123: SETI: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Types of Sources

What do you think?

What element is REQUIRED for something to be considered a scholarly source?
Written by someone with a PhD.: 0 votes (0%)
Published in a peer-reviewed journal.: 4 votes (100%)
No pictures included.: 0 votes (0%)
All of the above.: 0 votes (0%)
None of the above.: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 4

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Identifying & Evaluating Different Types of Sources

enrico fermi

Enrico Fermi asks you to consider your sources, photo courtesy of the Smithsonian

Thinking About Sources

What are the elements of a source that you would examine critically in order to determine how to categorize that source?

What are some of the characteristics that distinguish a popular source from a scholarly source?

When is it appropriate to use scholarly sources? When is it appropriate to use popular sources? 

Why does it matter what type of sources you use for your research?

Let's talk about SETI!

Jill Tarter Let's look at some sources of information about SETI!

1. Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.)

2. We Will Discover Alien Life By The End Of This Century, SETI Expert Claims

3. Dr Jessie Christiansen on Nasa & the Search for Technosignatures

4. AI helps track down mysterious cosmic radio bursts


As we interrogate these sources, please consider these three questions: 

  • What useful information can I get from this source? 
  • In what context would I share this source with someone else? 
  • What do I know about the authority of the author/creator of this information source? 

Jill Tarter suspended above the radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Tarter was a key figure in the founding of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project

Creating a rubric

Define Your Rubric

Given our discussion of what makes a scholarly source & what makes a popular source, what criteria would you suggest for evaluating a source? List criteria below that you will consider when engaging with sources, and add other criteria that you think are important. 

Criteria Popular Magazine Scholarly Journal



























Based on Scholarly vs. Popular Materials by Amy VanScoy, NCSU Library