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Understanding Scholarly/Academic Research

Learn about research formats & methodology, credibility & relevance, peer-review & scholarly as well as impact metrics when choosing research content

Seminal works are groundbreaking at the time of publication and often introduce a new theory and/or a new way of understanding a concept.

  • That influence may continue to inform new research and as such be difficult to access in the original format, despite its age and sometimes the unavailability of the original publication.
  • The number of times an article cited is very important in determining whether or not an article can be considered seminal.
  • In general, if an article is more than 5 years old and has been passed over, it is no longer seminal, but if it is still cited after 5 years then that is important as it is being shown as still relevant.

TIPS to determine if an article is a seminal work:

  • check the last time an article was cited.
  • look at a recent article that is citing the article in question and see what the authors have to say. Does the writer of the recent article say anything about the article in question being seminal or an authority on the subject?
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