How are Scholarly Articles different than Popular Articles?
When writing college research papers, you may be asked to include "scholarly"--also known as "peer reviewed"--articles as resources. Many databases, including Academic Search Complete, have search features that enable you to limit your results to articles found in peer reviewed journals. For other databases and for articles you may find online, it's a good idea to understand the differences between scholarly and popular articles so that you pick the right resources for your research.
Scholarly -v- Popular Comparison
|Language/Audience||Written using formal vocabulary that is technical in nature & directed towards a scholarly audience||Written in non-technical language directed towards a general audience|
|Length||Longer articles, may be 5-50 pages long||Short articles, usually 1-5 pages long|
|Scope||Article covers a very specialized topic of research and provides in-depth analysis of subject matter||Provides a more broad overview of topic and may cover more than one subject|
|Authorship||Name and credentials of author always provided, author is usually an expert or specialist in the field, and there may be multiple authors||Name and credentials may not be provided, author is usually a staff writer or journalist|
|Format/Layout||Articles are usually structured into sections that may include: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, bibliography||Articles probably do not follow a specific format|
|Inclusions/Illustrations||May include illustrations that visually support the text, such as graphs, tables, or maps||Usually include illustrations chosen for visual appeal or advertising purposes, such as glossy or color photographs|
|Editors||Articles are "peer reviewed", or refereed by other experts in the field prior to selection||Articles are not evaluated for accuracy by experts in the field, but may be checked by staff editors|
|References||Articles always include a detailed bibliography or works cited page to document the research and may also include footnotes||A bibliography is usually not provided, although some additional references may be listed throughout the article or at the end|