You can easily find scholarly sources in the M.P. Baker Library Databases.
A database is like a digital file cabinet that can be locked to allow only certain people access. It is well organized to allow people to locate information quickly by using sophisticated search and browsing tools. Plus, the information is high-quality – it has been selected by professionals and reviewed for accuracy. Many databases also provide access to cool perks like generated citations! The Internet is like a digital bulletin board that is open to anyone and everyone to post or review. The digital bulletin board is extremely disorganized because it does not have an efficient, standard organizational system. Additionally, the information has not been selected for quality or reviewed for accuracy; in fact, anyone can post whatever they like. You also have to deal with hassles like annoying advertisements.
Journals are published by professional organizations. The information in journals is often referred to as "peer-reviewed". That is because the professional organization publishing the journal is made up of peers that review each others research before allowing it to be published. When someone writes an article for a journal, they must provide their research information, statistics, sources, and other information to support what they have written. The author is held accountable for what is written. The information must be factual and accurate to the best of the writer's knowledge and peers from the professional organization must be in agreement with the information before it can be published. By comparison, anyone can submit articles to a newspaper or magazine with little accountability for the information provided.
Search engines are great for gleaning information from the Internet. However, they are companies in business for profit. Remember they are more concerned with which contributors paid them the most money to make sure certain pages appear first in a result list than they are about you finding authoritative information. They bring you the results and expect you to be discerning enough to select authoritative information.
An authoritative website is one that is usually created and maintained by a professional organization, a research institution, or government agencies. Therefore, most authoritative websites end with the extensions .gov, .org, .edu. However, some authoritative websites do have .com extensions. In order for a website to be considered authoritative, it should provide contact information for the person creating and maintaining the site as well as a current copyright date. It should also provide information about the person or organization that assumes responsibility and accountability for the information provided on the site. Most authoritative sites will also include a physical address and phone number. If you can not find out who provides the information for the site, the credentials of the person providing the information, or contact information you should be leary of using the site for research purposes even if the word "official" is used on the site name.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started with authoritative Internet sites.
HINT: To locate good websites for your disease try searching for your disease's foundation, association, or organization.
You can always request an item through Interlibrary Loan.