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Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines April 20, 2009

Posted by mplibrary in @ your library.
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Teachers often require that we use scholarly (sometimes called peer- reviewed, refereed, or academic) journal articles as sources for papers rather than popular articles. How do we tell the difference?

Scholarly Journals
Appearance: Articles are long and serious with many words
May contain charts or graphs
No glossy pages or photographs
Studies will have an abstract, methodology, results
Audience: Scholars and students
Authors: Scholars in the field of study
Documentation: Has references, bibliography, and/or footnotes
Purpose: Reports results of original research or experientation
Publication procedure: Many scholarly articles go through a review process by other scholars in the field, often university professors, who examine the article and make suggestions before publication. These articles are called “peer-reviewed” or “refereed”.
Where to find: College database subscriptions such as JSTOR, Project Muse, PsycInfo, etc. They may be print or online.
Examples:
Journal of Abnormal Psychology
Nature
American Literature
Journal of American History

Popular Magazines
Appearance: Attractive, colorful, glossy
Heavily illustrated
Many advertisements
Audience: General readers
Authors: Reporters, usually not experts on the subjects
Documentation: Sources not usually cited in references or bibliographies
Purpose: Provide general information
Publication procedure: Written by hired reporters, edited by magazine editors, and published.
Where to find: Generalized databases such as Academic OneFile (Tennessee Electronic Library) will let you differentiate between popular magazines and academic journals.
Examples:
Psychology Today
National Geographic
Newsweek
Business Week

Julie Adams

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