Academic texts: introduction


“Use peer reviewed/academic/scientifc texts”

This is something you hear from your teachers. As a student you are expected to build on scientifc publications, partly because the knowledge has been researched during structured forms and peer reviewed, partly to learn from and develop your scientific attitude. The university’s mission is to offer education on scientific ground.

What is scientific text? How does it differ from non-scientific text? Or from popular science texts? Or other texts which are not claiming to be scientific? This is not an easy question and there is not one simple answer. Rather, there are good examples to be found in both areas but there is also a gray zone in between.

The picture is complicated further by the fact that assessment differs from subject to subject. Therefore the following blog posts are only a general walk-through. A part of higher education is to learn what is scientific in one’s own subject field. The area I know best is the Social Sciences which you might notice.

There are some general things to observe when forming an opinion whether something is scientific or not. I will write about them in a series of blog posts. These are:

1. Peer review
2. Publishers
3. Scientific genres
4. References
5. Intended Audience
6. Content and form
7. Internet resources

The aim is for you to feel a little bit wiser next time you are searching and using scientific texts for your term paper or thesis.

//Helena Francke, lector at BHS

Blog posts are translated from Swedish by Pieta Eklund