When conducting research it is important to distinguish between journal articles and magazine articles. Journal articles are typically referred to as "scholarly," while magazine articles are usually considered "popular".
|Criteria||Scholarly Journal||Popular Magazine|
|Content||In-depth, primary account of original findings written by the researcher(s); very specific information, with the goal of scholarly communication.||Secondary discussion of someone else's research; may include personal narrative or opinion; general information, purpose is to entertain or inform.|
|Author||Author's credentials are provided; usually a scholar or specialist with subject expertise.||Author is frequently a journalist paid to write articles, may or may not have subject expertise.|
|Audience||Scholars, researchers, and students.||General public; the interested non-specialist.|
|Language||Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires expertise in subject area.||Vocabulary in general usage; easily understandable to most readers.|
|Graphics||Graphs, charts, and tables; very few advertisements and photographs.||Graphs, charts and tables; lots of glossy advertisements and photographs.|
|Layout & Organization||Structured; includes the article abstract, goals and objectives, methodology, results (evidence), discussion, conclusion, and bibliography.||Informal; may include non-standard formatting. May not present supporting evidence or a conclusion.|
|Accountability||Articles are evaluated by peer-reviewers* or referees who are experts in the field; edited for content, format, and style.||Articles are evaluated by editorial staff, not experts in the field; edited for format and style.|
|References||Required. Quotes and facts are verifiable.||Rare. Little, if any, information about source materials is given.|
|Other Examples||Annals of Mathematics, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, History of Education Quarterly, Almost anything with Journal in the title.||
Time, Newsweek, The Nation, The Economist
This is a modified version of a document created by Amy VanScoy at NCSU Libraries.
Where do research articles come from? How do they end up in your search results? This video has the answers.
This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.
Primary sources include:
Secondary sources are works that interpret the primary data, such as a book about eating disorders, a journal article about the role of tobacco in the colonial economy, or a critical review of a play.
Tertiary sources are works that compile, analyze, and digest secondary sources. General and specialized encyclopedias are familiar examples of tertiary sources.
When you do research, are you just skimming the surface? How deep is your research? You need to go deeper than Google or Wikipedia!
Are your sources credible and useful, or are they a bunch of . . .?!
The CRAAP Test is a rubric that helps you determine if the sources you found are accurate and reliable. Keep in mind that the following list is not static or complete. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.
Key: * indicates criteria is for Web sources only
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
|Relevance:The importance of the information for your needs.|
|Authority: The source of the information.|
|Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.|
|Purpose: The reason the information exists.|
This is a modified version of a document created by Sarah Blakeslee at Meriam Library, CSU Chico.