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SOCL 101: The Sociological Perspective (Beard): Scholarly vs. Popular

Scholarly vs. Popular

The Peer Review Process - Western University Libraries

Scholarly and Popular Sources

scholarly or peer-reviewed article has been written by an expert in the subject (ex., a professor or other researcher), and has been reviewed and approved by a group of other experts (their peers). 

You can see an interactive diagram of a scholarly article, designed by the NC State Libraries, here.

Some tips for identifying scholarly articles:

  • Most scholarly articles are published in academic journals or edited collections.  Articles from magazines, trade journals, or newspapers are not scholarly. 
  • Scholarly articles will always include citations and a bibliography. Other articles generally include few or no citations, and will include only a brief bibliography or notes section if any at all. 
  • Not all resources with citations are scholarly (for example, Wikipedia is not). 
  • If you're not sure about a source, check for information like: the author's name/credentials; the publication it appears in or the publisher;  or the intended audience. 
  • Book reviews and editorials are never scholarly, even when published in scholarly journals. 

Scholarly or Popular?

Look at these two articles and determine which article was published in a scholarly journal.  

Which article is the scholarly article?
Article 1 is scholarly.: 3 votes (75%)
Article 2 is scholarly.: 1 votes (25%)
Total Votes: 4