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MGT100 - Management & Organizational Behavior (Frkal, Fall 2016): Scholarly vs. Popular Journals

Types of Sources

Scholarly and professional journals are written by experts in a particular field or subject area and provide the highest level authoritative content. You will find scholarly journal articles in print and in most of our databases.

Business magazines and financial newspapers provide articles written by business people for business people. Many supply general news and current events information.
Business Week, Economist, Wall Street Journal

Trade journals provide articles and data that are written by – and for – people within a particular field or industry. Most trade journals supply statistics, industry reports, and important industry news.

Popular magazines are written for a general audience, and usually do not contain abstracts, footnotes, bibliographies, trade data, financials, industry reports, etc.
Newsweek, Time, Glamour, Yankee

Evaluation Criteria

Scholarly and Popular Sources

Created by Carnegie Vincent Library (2013).

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Journals

Scholarly journals (aka academic journals) publish articles by scholars and researchers in their field and are intended for the academic community.  Many scholarly journals are also peer-reviewed (aka refereed), which means they have an editorial board with additional experts in the field who review all articles submitted for publication to ensure that they meet academic standards.  Examples of scholarly journals are American Journal of Archaeology and Journal of Abnormal Psychology.  Some databases allow you to limit your results to Scholarly/Academic/Peer-Reviewed Journals (look for a check box on the database home page).

Popular journals are intended for the general public, and their journalists may have some knowledge of a field, but are usually not academic experts.    Examples of popular journals are Scientific American and Psychology Today.  Popular journals can be appropriate for some academic papers, but not all, so be sure to check with your professor.

How can you distinguish a scholarly journal from a popular journal?  Refer to the following chart, which highlights the differences between the two:





General Public








Color Pictures






Article Length

1-5 pages

10+ pages

Article Titles

Short & Catchy

Long & Descriptive

Cites Sources