Twenty years ago, a scholarly source was clearly different from everything else. Very little was online yet, but many voices were unjustly ignored.
If you look at newspapers, magazines, or pulp novels, these are meant for daily consumption by anyone. Others, like scholarly journals or books (from novels to dictionaries), take years (decades!) and dozens (hundreds!) of hands. You can feel the effort of editors, authors, and artists.
The amount of time, wisdom, and energy invested establishes some of the credibility in dictionaries, encyclopedia, or university press books. This is harder to see today when dictionaries or encyclopedia (whether Wikipedia or Britannica) all look pretty much the same as blogs on your phone or laptop.
Take the time to learn about the author and publisher. It is a necessary step. Is this subject their specialty? That way you don’t cite someone who has been discredited in the field. Or perhaps you find an authentic voice who merits greater respect.
You may not have to do this every time. You will start to recognize names in your discipline from your assignments and readings.