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CHEM 151 (Roberts): Scholarly v. Popular?


  • Author is an expert in the subject and credentials are given, e.g. holds an MA or PhD, works at a university or research institute
  • Includes a list of outside sources at the end ('references' or 'bibliography'); uses in-text citations within the article
  • Article is reviewed by several other experts in order to ensure the article's quality ('peer-reviewed', or 'refereed')
  • Presents findings from a research study, case study or in-depth analysis; usually includes tables and graphs
  • Information is published in a scholarly source (journal or book) by a publisher or organization who produces scholarly work
  • Includes few advertisements, if any, and advertisements are clearly labeled as advertisements
  • Articles are long (usually at least 8 pages, since it takes a lot of space to explain new ideas)


Different words, same thing...

 Scholarly sources are also called

  • Academic 
  • Journals
  • Peer reviewed 
  • Professional 
  • Refereed
  • Juried

Non-scholarly sources are also called

  • Magazine
  • Newspaper
  • Popular 
  • Trade



Video: Popular v. Scholarly

Peer review in 3 minutes

To watch this video in a separate pop-up window, click HERE

Peer Review in 3 Minutes video from NCSU Library on YouTube