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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).

   Articles have:

 Popular Magazines
 on the other hand:


  • Bibliography, footnotes, or endnotes.
    - evidence of research conducted
  • Written by expert(s) in the field.
    provides author’s credentials
  • Published by Associations, Research Institutes, University Presses.
  • “Peer reviewed.”
    -  the policy of experts examining article 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


What about other materials?

Like critreia for evaluating periodicals, these are important criteria for internet pages and databases too.