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LSC-HOUSTON NORTH Library Guides: Evaluating Information

Evaluating Information

Scholarly vs. Popular

Scholarly Journals (also known as Peer-Reviewed or Refereed Journals):

  • are often published monthly or quarterly
  • may include several lengthy articles on research projects
  • provide research studies that include the scientific method with background/introduction, methods, results, discussion (except literary criticism)
  • feature articles written, reviewed, and designed by and for professionals
  • display black and white graphics and some advertisements
  • list information sources in article text and in references at the end of an article
  • can be found on the free Internet but easily searchable in research databases

EXAMPLES:
Physical Therapy | American Psychologist | The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture

Popular Magazines:

  • are usually published monthly or weekly
  • include short articles on a wide variety of topics
  • include articles with basic facts and/or opinion of people, ideas, or events
  • feature articles written and edited by staff or freelance journalists
  • provide color photographs and advertisements
  • list information sources sometimes in the text
  • frequently found on the free Internet but easily searchable in research databases 

EXAMPLES:
Psychology Today | Science News | The Economist

More Information on Journals vs. Magazines:
Scholarly vs. Popular Materials Guide (from North Carolina State University Libraries)