Henry Buhl Library


How to tell if a journal is "scholarly" or "popular" :

Scholarly Journals Popular Journals
Audience Scholars, Researchers, Students General public
Author Author's credentials are usually listed; usually a scholar with subject expertise. Author may or may not be named.  Often a professional writer with limited or no subject expertise.  
Citations Required.  All facts and sources can be verified. Rarely listed.  Insufficient facts are sometimes given and sources are difficult to verify.
Content Articles usually more structured; may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, bibliography.  May include illustrations that support the text, such as tables of statistics, graphs, maps, or photographs. Articles do not necessarily follow a specific format or structure.  May include illustrations with glossy or color photographs.
Language Specialized language is used; requires prior knowledge. Vocabulary is aimed at the general public and is understandable for most readers.
Examples Of Journals  


JAMA: The Journal of the American
Medical Association



Time Magazine



Remember to check Ulrich's Periodicals Directory (database) to determine whether a journal is refereed (peer-reviewed).

Updated:  05/05/12
İHenry Buhl Library
Grove City College 2012