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Identifying Popular and Scholarly Information  

Last Updated: Jun 28, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Identifying Popular and Scholarly Information Print Page

Finding Scholarly and Popular Articles in the Monroe Library

  • Journal Finder
    Use the Journal Finder to search by title, publisher, ISSN, or subject. The Journal Finder will search both scholarly and popular publications.
  • Databases
    Search the library databases for both scholarly and popular articles. Most databases will allow you to filter results for only "peer reviewed" articles. For help finding peer reviewed articles, come to the Monroe Library or contact us through Monroe Library Chat.

What Is a Scholarly Article?

Scholarly Articles:

  • Are usually longer than five pages.
  • Contain mostly text.
  • Have many citations and/or a bibliography.
  • Usually focus on academic subjects and contribute to the research in that area.
  • Often have an abstract at the beginning.
  • Often list the author’s credentials; he or she is usually an expert in the field.
  • Are written for the author’s peers; it is generally assumed that
  • Readers have some background in the field.
  • Often provide a description of the research methodology used.

Where Can You Find Scholarly Articles?

Scholarly articles are found in scholarly journals. Examples of scholarly journals include the New England Journal of MedicineJournal of American History, and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

Scholarly Journals:

  • Often include Journal, Review, or Quarterly in the title.
  • Are often published by a college, university, or professional society.
  • Usually contain little or no advertisements.
  • Often provide a statement of purpose, mission, or scope.
  • Usually have some form of peer review. Peer review is the process by which articles are evaluated by an expert(s) in the field before being accepted for publication.

What Is a Popular Article?

Popular Articles:

  • Are usually brief, less than five pages.
  • Often contain many photographs and graphics.
  • Usually do not have citations and/or a bibliography.
  • May not list an author; if an author is listed, he or she is often not an expert.

Where Can You Find Popular Articles?

Popular articles are generally found in newspapers, magazines, and trade publications. Examples of popular publications include PeopleSports IllustratedNewsweek, and Time.

Popular Publications:

  • Are published frequently, weekly or monthly
  • Contain many advertisements
  • Have familiar titles and are usually sold at newsstands and bookstores
  • Often have glossy pages
  • Are intended to entertain or inform the general reader; language is simple and presumes the reader has no background in the topic.

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