Evaluate Sources

Is it scholarly or popular?

Scholarly and popular articles are published in journals, trade magazines, and popular magazines and are often called periodicals, meaning that they are published at regular intervals: daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly.

The best way to ensure you are searching for scholarly articles is to use the article databases found in the library's web site.


  Authors Audience Topics How can you tell? Look for:
Scholarly Mainly people employed at college, universities, research institutions, educational institutions Other academics, scholars, and students Narrow range of topics in a field of study
  • Bibliographies and footnotes in articles
  • Longer, in-depth articles
  • Article titles are specific
  • Often original research
Trade Professionals working in a specific field Other professionals and practitioners in a field Topics of relevance to practitioners in a field
  • Articles are brief to medium length
  • Publication contains ads related to the field
  • Articles are practical or applied practice
Popular Writers employed by the magazine or publication General public Wide range of topics
  • Many ads
  • No bibliographies
  • Brief, general articles
  • No technical language or jargon