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Scholary vs. Popular Sources: Characteristics

Peer-reviewed or Popular?

The difference between scholarly journals and popular magazines:

  Scholarly    Popular & General Interest
General Appearance Serious appearance; may contain graphs, charts, statistics, few pictures, known as "Peer-Reviewed" or "Refereed" or "Academic" Attractive in appearance, heavily illustrated with photos and ads
Writers of Articles

Authors are often professors at universities, scholars or professionals with extensive experience. They are experts in the field (normally have obtained at least a Master’s Degree or greater in their field of study)

Usually free-lance or staff writers
Audience College students, faculty, scholars, or researchers General public
Article Length Longer articles that often provide in-depth research statistics and findings Shorter articles - often one to three pages in length
References Always cites sources and usually includes endnotes or a lengthy Works Cited page Sometimes cite their sources. Often no references are provided.
Publisher Often a university, a research institution, or a professional organization Commercial enterprises or individuals
Examples Journal of Marriage and Family, American Historical Review, Social Problems, New England Journal of Medicine Ebony, Men's Journal, People, Time Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek
                                     

 

Courtesy of F. Habib at Moorpark College Library