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LAW 747E - Law and Legal Professionals (Prof. Romig - Spring 2022)

"Scholarly" Articles v. "Popular" Articles

When researching your topic, you may come across many different types of sources and articles. When evaluating these sources, it is important to think about: 

  • Who is the author? 
  • Who is the audience or why was this written? 
  • Where was this published? 
  • Is this relevant to your research? 
  • When was this written? Has it been updated? 
  • Are there any citations? Who do they cite?
Scholarly  Popular
Written by experts, like academics, scientists, scholars, etc.  Written by generalists, such as journalists, bloggers, etc. 
Written for specialists or students in the field. 

Written for the general population

Written with scholarly or technical language.  Easy to read, or will define any specialized terms.
Will include a full bibliography of the sources that are cited.  No formal citations, or may not have any citations. 
Published in an academic journal. Published in a newspaper, magazine, or blog
Are often peer-reviewed Are edited in-house or self-edited.                                           

 

Helpful Links and Guides

Here are helpful links and guides to check out for more information on scholarly sources: 

  • This database contains data on different types of serials and can be used to determine whether a periodical is peer-reviewed or not: Ulrich's Periodicals Directory 
  • The UC Berkeley Library published this useful guide on evaluating resources, including the differences between scholarly and popular sources, as well as how to find primary sources: UC Berkeley's Evaluating Resources LibGuide.

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