CO130 - Academic Writing

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Publications



Here are the basic things to look for when trying to determine if you're looking at a scholarly or a popular publication: 

Scholarly Journals

  • Written by and for experts; authoritative
  • Evaluated by experts; peer-reviewed or refereed
  • Include bibliographies and/or footnotes
  • Lengthy articles that contain specialized language
  • Example: Journal of Social Psychology

Popular publications

  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Written by journalists; reviewed by editors
  • Written for a broad audience
  • Brief articles that use non-technical language
  • Contain advertisements, photos, flashy covers
  • Examples: Time or Newsweek or The New York Times

If, after examining a publication for these features, you still can't tell if it's scholarly/peer-reviewed, search Ulrich's Web (Periodicals Directory) for the publication title.


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