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Fullerton College Library

Research 101: Popular vs. Scholarly Articles

Getting Started With Research at Fullerton College Library

Popular vs. Scholarly Articles

open magazine

 

  Popular

  vs.

  Scholarly Periodicals

Look at the...

Popular Magazines and Newspapers

Professional, Trade, and Industry or Special-Interest Periodicals

Scholarly, Academic, Peer-Reviewed, or Refereed Journals

Citation

     
Frequency or publication Issued frequently: weekly, biweekly, or monthly Issued frequently: weekly, biweekly, or monthly Issued less frequently: monthly, quarterly, or semiannually
Authors of articles Often on author. Written by staff writers, freelance authors, or guest contributors. Often one author. Written by staff writers, freelance authors, guest contributors, or professionals in the field. Frequently multiple coauthors. Scholars and researchers in the field, discipline, or specialty. Authors with university affiliations or professional titles.
Article titles Popular or catchy article titles. Straightforward article titles, sometimes popular and catchy. Titles related to the research question or results; often long, not catchy.

Whole Periodical

     
Audience Educated but non-expert readers; uses simple language in order to meet minimum education levels. Practitioners of a particular profession, members of a trade, or workers in an industry; language appropriate for an education readership; assumes a certain level of specialized knowledge. Scholars and researchers in the field, discipline, or specialty; language contains terminology and jargon of the discipline; reader is assumed to have a scholarly background.
Purpose Designed to entertain or persuade readers with a variety of general interest topics in broad subject fields; also geared to sell products and services through advertising. Examines problems or concerns in a particular profession or industry; provides specialized information to a wide interested audience. To inform, report, or make available original research or experimentation in a specific field or discipline to the rest of the scholarly world: where new knowledge is reported.
Paper, illustrations, layout Eye-catching covers, glossy paper, photos, illustrations, cartoons, sidebars. Eye-catching covers, glossy paper, photos, illustrations, cartoons, sidebars. Plain covers, usually plain matte paper; mostly text inside, with tables, figures, charts, graphs; little to no color or illustrations.
Advertising Many ads for general consumers products and services. Many ads for products and services related to a particular profession, trade, or industry. Few to no ads; if any, tend to be for other journals or specific services or specific services and products.

Articles

     
Abstracts No abstract No abstract Articles usually have an abstract at the beginning that summarizes the findings of the article. If there is no abstract, the article may be a review, editorial, or letter to the editor.
References Sources are not cited; no references or bibliography at the end of the article. Sources are not cited; no references or bibliography at the end of the article. Scholarly references in the form of bibliographies, reference lists, and footnotes appear in each article.

Examples

     
  Glamour, People, Reader's Digest, Newsweek Beverage World, Restaurant News, Advertising Age, Scientific American Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, American Historical Review

Access

     
 

From the library homepage:

OneSearch tab: Enter search, then limit by source type to Magazines and Newspapers

Databases tab: View full database list, then change the database type to News and Newspapers

From the library homepage:

OneSearch tab: Enter search, then limit by source type to Trade Publications

From the library homepage:

OneSearch tab: Enter search, then limit by source type to Academic Journals or Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals

Databases tab: View full database list, then change the database type to Academic/Scholarly