Scholarly and Popular Sources
It can be hard to determine if an article is scholarly or popular. Here are some general clues that can help:
- It is written by an expert in the field, usually with a Ph.D. or other terminal degree(s).
- The institution (university or museum) where the author works is listed.
- The article includes a bibliography citing other experts.
- The article is in a journal (usually scholarly) rather than a popular magazine.
- The journal might be described as "peer-reviewed" or "refereed."
- Often scholarly articles have an abstract at the beginning that explains what the article is about.
- The article is long - popular articles tend to be 1-5 pages; scholarly articles are often over 10 pages.
- There are a lot of glossy images in color.
- There are advertisements.
- There is no bibliography or other way to check the author's work, or the bibliography is very short and doesn't include works by scholars.
- Often called a magazine rather than a journal.
- Article is short, 1-5 pages.
If you would like more help, please contact your librarian.