Popular or Scholarly – What is the Difference?
- The basic differences between popular and scholarly articles arise from the audience for which the periodical is written.
|Criteria||Popular Magazines||Scholarly Journals|
|AUDIENCE||general public||scholars, students, professionals|
|APPEARANCE||lots of color, advertising, illustrations, short articles||mostly text, black & white, graphs & charts, long articles with bibliographies & footnotes|
|CONTENT||feature articles on timely topics; written for a
general audience in a language that is easy to understand
|researched and footnoted articles; written for a specialized audience
in a vocabulary that is not easily understood by the average reader
|AUTHOR(ITY)||written by staff & freelance writers; checked by editors||authored by researchers, academics, specialists; peer-reviewed|
|EXAMPLES||Time; Business Week; People||The Journal of American History; Signs|
How To Find Scholarly Articles
- Use an index or online database to locate several articles on a topic.
- STARTING POINTS: EBSCOHost’s Academic Search Complete is a general periodical databases, will provide some full-text scholarly articles as well as citations to others that are not full-text. An option for limiting the search to scholarly/peer-reviewed articles is available in each database.
- FOLLOW UP with a specialized database that covers the topic area. Most specialized databases contain citations and occasionally full-text articles that are primarily from scholarly publications. For assistance with selecting an appropriate specialized database, consult a librarian at the Reference Desk.