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Search Guide: Types of Information

Resources, strategies and tutorials for finding information online

Popular v. Scholarly Articles

When conducting academic research for your assignments, you may be required to find articles from a scholarly journal. But what exactly is a scholarly journal? Below are some criteria used to distinguish scholarly articles from popular articles.

Popular Articles:

  • Written for a general audience
  • Lack citations and research methodology of scholarly journals
  • Contain advertisements, graphics, photos, etc.


Scholarly Articles:

  • Discipline or field specific
  • Include lengthy research or technical reports
  • Written by researchers, experts, scholars of the field/discipline
  • Include citations and references
  • Articles may be 'peer-reviewed' by other researchers, experts and scholars before publication
  • Also known as 'academic articles', 'peer-reviewed articles'