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Scholarly or Popular: Home

Scholarly vs. popular sources

Scholarly, Popular, and Grey Literature

Scholarly Journals

Gray Literature

Popular/General Interest Magazine

Longer articles, providing in-depth analysis of topics

Long or short, depending on intended audience

Shorter articles with broad overviews of topics

Publish original research in a field.

Published through the government, organizations, institutes, and interest groups.  Often original research.

Published to inform, entertain, or persuade. 

Bibliography provided to document research

Bibliographies usually provided

Possibly a “suggested reading” list, usually no bibliography

Authors are usually experts or specialists in the field. Names and credentials are always provided

Authors are usually experts or specialists in the field. Names and credentials are always provided

Authors are often journalists or staff writers. No credentials are provided

Articles are reviewed and evaluated by experts in the field (refereed)

Articles are often written by experts, but are mostly not peer-reviewed.  In some cases, e.g. federal agencies, they may have internal peer-review.

Articles are not evaluated by experts in the field, but by editors on staff

Scholarly vs. popular periodicals

Scholarly vs. popular sources video

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