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STARTING POINTS: Research Materials

STARTING POINTS: Research Materials

Scholarly vs. Popular Publications

Many general databases list articles from publications like popular magazines, major newspapers and scholarly/academic journals.

What is the difference between a scholarly or academic source and a popular publication?

question mark person with open book actress with magazine cover

Consider Scholarly



Type of Publication? Academic journal (peer-reviewedGlossary definition) General interest magazine

Author? Expert on topic Journalist or amateur or professional writer
Audience? Scholars and students of the journal's discipline or particular subject area General public

Goal? To inform/update Often to entertain
Citations? Peer-reviewed articles must include footnotes and bibliography as evidence to support argument(s) No formal citation, though may use journalistic citation style

Writing level? Academic; often includes scholarly language, jargon 7-10th grade level; language is familiar
Article length? Often longer than articles in popular publications Usually short; 1-3 pages
Frequency of Publication? Generally, quarterly Generally, weekly or monthly

Time lag (currency)? Peer reviewed articles: 6 months+ from submission date of manuscript Very current

Graphics? Used to illustrate a point; charts, tables, statistics Used for visual impact

Advertisements? Limited or none Many glossy advertisements
Examples: Anthropology and Education Quarterly; Journal of Abnormal Psychology People Weekly; Newsweek; PC Magazine

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