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Scholarly vs. Popular Resources: Home


Your professor tells you that you cannot use the Internet to find sources for your paper. Rather, you must to use "Scholarly Journals" and other academic resources.What does that mean?

Use this guide to learn the difference between those items that are considered scholarly or academic and those items that are considered popular.  This is not a negative judgment.  At times, you may even use "popular" materials in your research and writing.  However, it is important that you know the difference and understand the types of materials you are using to support the assertions in your work.

Remember, not all information is created equal.  It is up to you to use your best judgment to determine the worth, validity, and merit of a work.

Popular vs. Scholarly

What is the difference between articles published in popular magazines and those published in scholarly journals?

Popular (Magazines)

  • Audience: usually written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience
  • Length: usually shorter than scholarly journal articles
  • Author: journalist or professional writer; articles are not always signed
  • Style: easy to comprehend by the general reader

Here are some examples of popular magazines in our library collection: 
Popular Magazines

Scholarly Journals

  • Audience: written for professionals, researchers, or scholars
  • Length: tend to be long articles supported by research and extensive bibliographies
  • Author: written by professionals, researchers, or scholars; are often refereed or peer reviewed (i.e. articles are reviewed by subject specialists before they are considered for publication)
  • Style: uses scholarly or technical language, not easily understood by the general reader

Note: Book reviews and editorials published in scholarly journals are not considered scholarly articles

Here are some examples of scholarly journals in our collection:
Scholarly Journals

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