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Welcome to Wilkes University » Academics at Wilkes University » Library » Research & Library Help » Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines
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Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines

E. S. Farley Library • 570-408-4250 (T) • 570-408-7823 (F) • contact form

When you consult printed resources for research purposes...
it is important to know the difference between scholarly and popular information. The lists below should help you make the distinction.

Popular Magazines
not peer reviewed
pictures, illustrations
glossy advertisements, commercialized ads
general topic, human interest
lower reading level (general public)
publishing guidelines without specific format
few, if any citations
more opinion oriented (bias)
read at leisure, self-help
shorter articles
written by journalists
profit making
published more frequently

Examples of Popular Magazines
New Yorker: New Yorker Readers Digest: Readers Digest PeopleMagazine: People Magazine

Scholarly Journals
peer reviewed
fewer advertisements
specialized audience (more complex, extensive vocabulary)
style-publishing guidelines (more structured) 
lengthier bibliography list
more factual, objective, scientific information
read for school work, more serious
longer articles
written by scholars
non-profit making
published less frequently

Examples of Scholarly Journals
JPSP: JPSP Journal of Experimental Psychology: Journal of Experimental Psychology Journal of Bacteriology: Journal of Bacteriology

Can you tell the difference?
Now that you know how to distinguish a scholarly journal from a popular magazine, test your mastery by taking this multiple-choice quiz.
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