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.
When you do research, are you just skimming the surface? How deep is your research? You need to go deeper than Google or Wikipedia!
If your professor tells you to find a scholarly article on your topic, what would be the best place to look?