Scholarly Journal v. Popular Magazine Articles
Identifying scholarly articles involves analysis of the article's content. The chart below is meant to help you in this process; any one criteria by itself may not indicate that an article is scholarly. For example, a 30 page photo spread about stars at the Academy Awards may not be scholarly.
|Length||Longer articles, providing in-depth analysis of topics||Shorter articles, providing broader overviews of topics|
|Authorship||Author an expert or specialist in the field, name and credentials always provided||Author usually a staff writer or a journalist, name and credentials often not provided|
|Language/Audience||Written in the language of the field for scholarly readers (professors, researchers or students)||Written in non-technical language for anyone to understand|
|Format/Structure||Articles usually more structured, may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, bibliography||Articles do not necessarily follow a specific format or structure|
|Special Features||Illustrations that support the text, such as tables of statistics, graphs, maps, or photographs||Illustrations with glossy or color photographs, usually for advertising purposes|
|Editors||Articles usually reviewed and critically evaluated by a board of experts in the field (refereed or peer-reviewed)||Articles are not evaluated by experts in the field, but by editors on staff|
|Credits||A bibliography (works cited) and/or footnotes are always provided to document research thoroughly||A bibliography (works cited) is usually not provided, although names of reports or references may be mentioned in the text|
Still can't tell the difference? These resources can help:
Ulrichsweb (periodicals directory)
Magazines for Libraries / Reference Collection Z6941 .K2
Ask a Reference Librarian for help (see right).
The content of this guide was originally created by Celita DeArmond for the University of Texas at San Antonio, and has been modified with permission for the use of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
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