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A guide to library research resources in biology.

What's the Difference?

Popular vs. Scholarly: What's the Difference?

Still having trouble telling the differences between popular and scholarly articles? Hopefully the following will help:

Scholarly, Popular and Trade Publications

Your professors will often ask you to use scholarly sources for your assignments. A peer-reviewed article is one example of a scholarly source.

A table summarizing the attributes of popular, scholarly and professional sources.
Why? Information and entertainment Communicate research and scholarship Professional information (industry/career specific).
Who for? General public Researchers, professors, students Professionals in the field
Author Journalists, freelancers. Researchers, professors Practitioners on the job (e.g. teachers, counselors)
Recognize by...

* Articles are pretty easy to read

* Absence of references

* Advertisements

* Usually shorter, a few pages

* Articles are difficult to read

* Begin with abstract

* Lots of references

* Methodology sometimes described

* Usually longer, 7+ pages

* Practitioners views

* Industry information

* Discuss trends and issues

* Advertisements

Where will I find it? Google, Library Databases Google Scholar, Library Databases Google, Library Databases
Sample Titles

New York Times

Time Magazine

Journal of Sociology

Educational Researcher

Grocery Headquarters

Computer Fraud and Security

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