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SCHOLARLY/POPULAR ARTICLES
Scholarly
Popular
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Scholarly vs. Popular Articles

During your education at FAU, you may receive an assignment from a professor who instructs you to use "scholarly," "refereed," or "peer-reviewed" articles from academic journals, and to stay away from "popular" ones. "Aren't all articles the same," you ask yourself. Well, actually there are slight differences.

Scholarly Articles
Scholarly articles are sometimes referred to as "research," "academic," or "professional" articles. This means that they are written by experts, usually professors, scholars, or researchers, in a particular field and then published in scholarly journals. These authors are often, though not always, affiliated with a university, college, research institute, or other academic or education center. The articles themselves usually contain results from research studies, or historical, theoretical, or critical analyses. The following images are examples of scholarly journals. (See figure 1.)

Cinema Journal
The Library Quarterly
Labor History
Figure 1 - Front covers of Cinema Journal, The Library Quarterly, and Labor History.

The writing level is almost always very high with specialized and/or technical language and vocabulary within the discipline used extensively. The length of these articles can be somewhat long, sometimes running more than ten pages and containing 7,000 words. The average audience of scholarly articles are other academics and professionals in the field.

Scholarly Periodical Names
There is a myth that the names of scholarly journals always begin with "Journal of," but this is not the case. As Figure 1 indicates, scholarly journals do not follow a set rule when it comes to naming.

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Introduction to L.O.T. Search for BOOKS Search for Articles What is a Scholarly Article? Using the Web for Research How to Read a Call Number