It's important to determine what type of resources you need for your assignments. As you research your topic, you will discover different types of articles. Some resources are written for students, scholars or other experts and are generally referred to as SCHOLARLY. Others are written for the general public and are usually referred to as POPULAR. A third type is referred to as TRADE and is written for professionals in the field but is not strictly research related.
All three types of articles can be found in the library's databases. Check out the chart below to see how each of the resource types are different.
|Length||Longer articles, providing in-depth analysis of a topic||Shorter articles, providing broader overviews of topics.||Mid-length, providing practical guidance.|
|Authorship||Written by experts in the field, with names and credentials always provided. Usually a scholar or specialist with subject expertise.||Written by staff writers and journalists, with names and credentials sometimes provided. Author may or may not have subject expertise.||Author is usually a professional in the field.|
|Audience||Scholars, researchers, students.||General public; the interested non-specialist.||Professionals in the field; the interested non-specialist.|
|Language||The writing is often technical and can be more difficult to read if you are unfamiliar with the field. Specialized terminology or jargon of the field.||The articles are written in a non-technical language for anyone to understand. The vocabulary is general usage.||Specialized terminology or jargon of the field, but not as technical as a scholarly journal.|
|How Reviewed||Usually critically evaluated by a board of experts in the field (this is called peer review).||Approved by editors on staff.||Articles are evaluated by editorial staff who may be experts in the field, but these articles are not peer-reviewed.|
|Structure||Structured and may include the following sections: abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, and bibliography.||Informal, shorter, and does not necessarily follow a specific format or structure.||Informal, with articles organized like a journal or a newsletter. Evidence is drawn from personal experience or common knowledge.|
Includes illustrations that support the text (graphs, tables, statistics maps, or photographs).
Usually minimal or no advertising.
Often illustrated with glossy images or photographs.
Photographs and some graphics and charts.
Advertisements are targeted to professionals in the field.
|Example Articles||"Home Matters: Adolescents Drink More Sugar-Sweetened Beverages When Available at Home." The Journal of Pediatrics, vol. 202, Nov. 2018.||
"Spain Is Going to Trial a 4-Day Work Week. Could the Idea Go Mainstream Post-Pandemic?" Time, vol. 197, no. 13, Apr. 2021.
|“Grab and Go and Takeout Breakfast Here To Stay.” Nation’s Restaurant News, vol. 54, no. 13, Oct. 2020|
Peer Review: A Basic Definition
Peer review is integral to scholarly research. It is the process whereby publishers of scholarly journals send a copy of a submitted article to one or more experts working in the same field. These peer reviewers -- sometimes called referees -- evaluate the quality of the research and the paper describing it by asking questions like:
Only after passing through peer review will an article be published. The process can take months, but this level of scrutiny is intended to ensure the relevancy, integrity, accuracy, and objectivity of published research that comprises the scholarly record.