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Tutt Library Research Guides


EC Economic Theory Intermediate Topics in Microeconomics: Academic Sources

Scholarly v. Popular

Video produced by Wayne State University Libraries.

A Quick Guide to Evaluating Periodical Articles

These criteria apply to all periodicals (online or print).

      Scholarly Articles have:

    Popular Magazines
on the other hand:

  • Bibliography, footnotes, or endnotes.
    - evidence of the research conducted
    to produce the article
  • Written by expert(s) in the field.
    information describing the author’s credentials and position
  • Published by Associations, Research Institutes, University Presses.
  • “Peer reviewed.”
    -  the policy of experts in the field examining journal articles before acceptance
    for publication
  • Written in the jargon of the field.
     - for scholarly readers (professors, researchers or students.)
  • Illustrations that support the text.
     - such as tables of statistics, graphs, maps, or photographs
  • No footnotes or references.
  • Written by journalists who are usually not experts in the field.
  • Easy to read. Intended for lay audience. Informative and entertaining.
  • Short articles.
  • Many advertisements throughout the magazine.
  • Glossy, slick. Illustrated with graphics and photos.
  • Unsigned articles.


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