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Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines

How to tell the difference between the two


Use this guide to help you understand the differences between a scholarly journal and a popular magazine.  

Scholarly vs. Popular Sources

Scholarly vs Popular

 SCHOLARLY JOURNALS                                         

Often geared to professionals in the field               

Contains original research findings                                 

Often very long                                            

References  usually listed at end of journal article                                             

Often listed as "refereed or "peer reviewed"        

One or more authors listed, often with academic credentials       



Written for the general public

Contains more general information

Shorter, more concise articles

No references

Not refereed or peer reviewed     

Sometimes no author listed

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Maureen Cropper
Librarian / Professor
BCTC - Lexington, KY


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